The Brexit transition period has ended and a new trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is in effect. British PM Boris Johnson hailed “the dawn of a new era” saying it marked “a moment of real national renewal and change.” But there’s no consensus on what that change should look like and how it will impact the UK’s place in the world. The government in Westminster is now free to strike new trade deals, but US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated he’s in no hurry to enter negotiations, having opposed Britain’s exit from the EU from the beginning. Whatever deals the UK signs will involve offering concessions to trading partners and debate over how much to give up and to whom will be fierce. A new points-based immigration system is being introduced to allow Britain to manage the skills of arrivals, but there’s been little debate over who should be allowed in and whether people from Commonwealth countries should be given preferential treatment. Mr Johnson will host the G7 and UN climate conferences later this year and says the country will remain a key player on the world stage, staying in Nato and retaining its seat on the UN Security Council. But Britain’s political influence over its European neighbours has diminished and debate about potential future alliances has begun.
Ritula Shah and panel discuss Britain’s new role on the world stage post-Brexit.