UK is world's 2nd most powerful nation claims study - and Brexit will NOT impact dominance
THE UK is still the second most dominant power on the world stage and is facing no “discernible impact” from Brexit, according to research conducted by a leading think tank.
By SAM STEVENSON
Friday 4th January 2019
The analysis was carried out by the Henry Jackson Society. The annual audit reveals the UK has maintained its position as the second most powerful nation on the planet. It offers a stinging rebuke to Britain’s “army of doom-and-gloom mongers”.
The findings were unveiled by the Henry Jackson Society’s ‘Audit of Geopolitical Capability’ which was published today.
The study considers all of the G20 countries as well as Nigeria which, with the largest population and economy in Africa, could rise rapidly as a major power.
Labelling the UK as “a truly global power”, the rankings find the UK retains its unique capacity to “project and extend itself around the world”.
However, it urges caution over the threat of a “rapidly expanding” China and the “serious challenge” it poses.
James Rogers, the audit’s chief analyst, said: “Brexit has had no discernible impact on the UK’s fundamental ability to apply itself around the world.
“Although the UK is likely to retain its leadership role in Europe, it is also increasingly wedded to the so-called ‘Anglosphere' - further investment in groupings like the Five-Eyes could help cement its successes.”
The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Like-minded” countries such as Japan and Germany also are also cooperating with the espionage group, according to reports.
Mr Rogers’ audit claims the UK is currently ahead of both China and Russia, despite the respective regimes’ expansionist foreign policies, because of a boost in its overseas investment, aid and military.
Britain’s Armed Forces are ahead of China in terms of “military might” and ahead of Russia in terms of technological prowess, the research has found.
However, the bulk of the UK’s global superiority derives from so-called “soft power” - diplomatic, financial and cultural capabilities.
Of the report’s nine key sub-categories, the UK is a top-five power in eight spheres.
Britain’s standing qualifies it as one of just three ‘global powers’, the second highest grading, according to the audit’s methodology.
The UK is under threat from China but Russia is not a 'global power', the study claims (Image: GETTY)
A ‘global power’ means the UK is capable of projecting itself and defending its own interests anywhere on Earth.
Russia meanwhile is a ‘regional’ power meaning it can only prosecute its objectives within its own regional surroundings.
However, Mr Rogers warned the UK’s position could be under “serious threat” from China.
The foreign affairs expert said: “China’s rapidly expanding geopolitical capacity poses a serious challenge to the West.
“Over the past year, China has added tens of thousands of tonnes to its Navy and if current trends continue – it will overtake Britain as a global power by as soon as next year.”
Mr Rogers advised the UK should “urgently invest” in its military if it is to compete with an ever-more expansionist and bellicose China.
He cautioned by as soon as next year China’s economic growth and naval investment could see it overtake the UK as a global power.
Just 0.4 percent separates the two nations after China added approximately 65,000 tonnes of large new warships to its fleet since 2016, comparable to around one-fifth of the mass of the Royal Navy combat fleet.
Mr Rogers said: “If the rules-based order is breaking down, the UK should urgently invest in its armed forces’ projection capacities forward basing – not least in the Indo-Pacific region – if it seeks to halt this shift.”