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Therese Raphael

Boris Johnson Finally Tells Us What “Global Britain” Means

The U.K.’s foreign and security policy review is well crafted and ambitious, but can a middling power afford it?

Projecting power.

Projecting power.


Until Tuesday “Global Britain” was a slogan and little more. Just over a year ago Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a punchy speech in Greenwich where he likened post-Brexit Britain to superman. The U.K., he said, was “ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion of the right of the populations of the earth to buy and sell freely among each other.”

The long-awaited Integrated Review into foreign and security policy, published this week, is the first serious stab at setting out how post-Brexit Britain fits into a changing world. It tells us how the U.K. government ranks the threats and risks it faces, where it sees opportunities and what role it wants to play in the world. It’s as close to a Johnson Doctrine as we’re likely to get.