25 FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADORS WARN BREXIT WILL REDUCE BRITISH GLOBAL INFLUENCE - People's Vote

25 FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADORS WARN BREXIT WILL REDUCE BRITISH GLOBAL INFLUENCE

An open joint letter from 25 former British Ambassadors ahead of the G7 in Biarritz warns Boris Johnson that, by leaving the EU, the UK will reduce its influence in international organisations and groupings.

Signatories include Lord John Kerr, the author of Article 50; Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the former Permanent Representative to the European Union and Ambassador to the United States of America; Lord David Hannay, Permanent Representative to the EEC under Margaret Thatcher’s government; Peter Jenkins, former UK representative to the World Trade Organisation; Dame Mariot Leslie, former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to NATO; Sir David Warren, former Ambassador to Japan; and Sir Roderic Lyne, former Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

In the letter, the ambassadors say:

 “By leaving the EU, Britain will sharply reduce its influence in every one of the international organisations and groupings where key decisions are taken - the UN Security Council, the G20, the G7, to name but a few.”

On No Deal, the ambassadors say:

Pursuing No Deal and damaging relations with key G7 partners in the EU such as Germany, France and Italy will see us lose all possible influence in crafting foreign policy decisions from within the EU’s structures. Moreover, without the weight of our EU partners behind us, our voice will hold less sway wherever and whenever the international community takes political or economic decisions.”

The letter concludes:

We need a foreign policy based on long term UK interests and a strong economy, and that requires above all close, stable and fruitful relationships with our European neighbours. No Deal represents the biggest unilateral abandonment of those interests in modern British history. It should not be allowed to happen. We hope that the Prime Minister uses this G7 meeting to signal a different approach.”

/ends

 

Notes to editors

 

The text of the full letter and all 25 signatories are below:

This year’s G7 summit will take place against the backdrop of an impending No Deal Brexit that would result in an unprecedented – and self-inflicted – diminution of the UK’s international influence. By leaving the EU, Britain will sharply reduce its influence in every one of the international organisations and groupings where key decisions are taken - the UN Security Council, the G20, the G7, to name but a few.

The UK has successfully used its role within the EU to drive forward global action, including at the G7. Take the global financial crisis in 2008, where the UK secured a consensus on the way forward at the EU level before selling it to the Americans and others in the G20. On climate change, the common European position was once again crucial in securing international support after the US had for so long dragged their feet.

On other issues, such as Iran’s nuclear programme and counter-terrorism measures, the UK’s unique position of being close to Washington and also inside the EU has allowed us to shape decisions for the better and to advance our interests. It has also helped us advance the interests of our friends across the world, e.g. in Africa and Asia. There is little doubt that we will be of less interest to them if we cut less ice in Brussels.They will be less, not more likely to want trade deals with us if our central economic and trade relationship with our biggest market is thrown into chaos with no future path agreed.

Pursuing No Deal and damaging relations with key G7 partners in the EU such as Germany, France and Italy will see us lose all possible influence in crafting foreign policy decisions from within the EU’s structures. Moreover, without the weight of our EU partners behind us, our voice will hold less sway wherever and whenever the international community takes political or economic decisions.

We need a foreign policy based on long term UK interests and a strong economy, and that requires above all close, stable and fruitful relationships with our European neighbours. No Deal represents the biggest unilateral abandonment of those interests in modern British history. It should not be allowed to happen. We hope that the Prime Minister uses this G7 meeting to signal a different approach.

 

Signed by:

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Permanent Representative to the European Union 2000 -2003 and Ambassador to the United States 2007 – 2012;

Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community/European Union 1990 – 1995 and Ambassador to the United States 1995 – 1997;

Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community 1985 – 1990 and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York 1990 – 1995;

Sir John Grant, Permanent Representative to the European Union 2003 -2007;

Dame Mariot Leslie, Permanent Representative to NATO 2010-2014 and Ambassador to Norway 2002-2006;

Sir David Warren, Ambassador to Japan 2008 – 2012;

Peter Jenkins, UK representative to the World Trade Organisation 1996-2001 and to the International Atomic Energy Agency 2001-2006; 

Michael W. Atkinson, Ambassador to Romania 1989-1992;

Ian Bond, Ambassador to Latvia 2005 – 2007;

Dame Nicola Brewer, High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 2009-13;

David Broucher, Ambassador to the Czech Republic 1997 – 2001;

John Buck, Ambassador to Portugal, 2004-2007;

Eric Callway, HM Consul-General Frankfurt, 1997-2001;

Dr Peter Collecott, Ambassador to Brazil 2004 – 2008;

Basil Eastwood, Ambassador to Syria 1996-2000 and Ambassador to Switzerland 2001-2004;

Sir Stephen Gomersall, Ambassador to Japan 1999–2004;

Michael Hall, Deputy UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe 1998-2002;

Sir Roderic Lyne, UK Ambassador to Russia 2000 – 2004;

Sir David Madden, High Commissioner to Cyprus 1994-99 and Ambassador to Greece 1999-2004;

Oliver Miles, Ambassador to Greece 1993 – 1996;

Colin A Munro, Ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe 2003-2007;

Stephen Nash, Ambassador to Latvia 1999 – 2002;

Sir John Ramsden, Ambassador to Croatia 2004–2008;

Nigel Thorpe, Ambassador to Hungary 1998 – 2003;

James Watt, Ambassador to Lebanon 2003–06, Ambassador to Jordan 2006–11, and Ambassador to Egypt 2011-2014.