English: alone at home

With Brexit, Britain closed the loop that returned it to a situation similar to the one it faced after the Suez crisis. The pragmatism of several decades attained a privileged position, both in Europe and in the United States, which is now crumbling.

When you finish reading this interesting book by Philip Stephens, English AloneRegarding the international role of Great Britain, one cannot help but conclude with some regret that the subtitle, The road from Suez to Brexit, does not draw a linear path in time, but a circular path. For the path was traversed by successive British governments, which Stephens excellently describes and analyzes in his agile and often devastating story, warping as the reading progresses. In this way, at the end of the text, the reader feels he has watched Britain complete the circle that left him again before the reality characterized by American Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1962, in a speech at West Point Military Academy, with the sentence: “Great Britain has lost the Empire, but haven’t found a role yet.”

The UK Alone: ​​The Road from Suez to Brexit
Philip Stephens
Bernes & Noble, 2021

If the Suez crisis (1956) put Britain in front of the mirror of the loss of its status as a global power, Brexit has returned it to the basic state in terms of its foreign policy, and existential in terms of the search for new. identity. From Suez to Brexit and back again, we can conclude after seeing how the country, as a result of its exit from the European Union, has squandered the highly successful international position achieved with great effort and pragmatism in the six decades following the Suez disaster. . It’s true that, in retrospect, the epic stories that politicians, diplomats and scholars have used to embellish Britain’s post-Suez foreign policy achievements can and should be nuanced. But it also cannot be ignored that the result of those diplomatic efforts is to leave …

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