Buxton International Festival
Simon McDonald – Beyond Britannia: Reshaping UK Foreign Policy
11 July | Pavilion Arts Centre | 10:00

What should the future of British foreign policy look like?

For too long successive governments have shied away from acknowledging uncomfortable truths about the decline of Britain’s military capabilities. Lord McDonald was the British ambassador to Germany and later permanent under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and head of the Diplomatic Service. He argues that the UK’s significant soft-power strengths can be harnessed to expand our international influence. Such a shift will only be possible, he says, if we first acknowledge the challenges of Brexit and the need to reduce our unrealistic hard-power ambitions. Excellence in areas that other countries care about will keep the UK internationally relevant in a way that nostalgia for a lost pre-eminence will not.

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