Britain’s diminished role after the Brexit vote | Letters

Alex Orr, Elaine Bagshaw, Peter Lyth and others look at Britian’s future after BrexitIn recent days the UK’s standing in the world has further diminished as the impacts of Brexit become more tangible. Earlier this week the relocation of two EU agencies currently based in London was announced. The European Medicines Agency will move to Amsterdam, while the European Banking Authority will be lost to Paris, which narrowly pipped Dublin to host this prestigious organisation (London loses EU agencies to Paris and Amsterdam in Brexit relocation, 21 November). Between them, the two agencies employ 1,150 people, as well as attracting thousands of visiting researchers and staff members to London. This is despite Brexit secretary David Davis previously voicing his hope that the agencies could remain in London, or at least form part of the negotiations. To add insult to injury, the UK will have to pay for the relocation.

In addition, the UK has withdrawn its candidate from election to the UN international court of justice (Report, 21 November). Britain will not have a judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its 71-year history. Last week, after five rounds of voting by the security council and the general assembly in New York, four judges from Brazil, Lebanon, France and Somalia were chosen for the bench ahead of the UK’s candidate, Christopher Greenwood. The UK’s failure to guarantee a place on the court of an organisation it helped to found is clearly a further sign of its increasing irrelevance on the world stage following the decision to leave the EU. As the UK turns inwards following the Brexit vote, it is hardly a surprise that it is no longer able to command the global influence it once did.

Alex Orr

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