When civil servants in the United Kingdom first started referring to the country’s post-Brexit economic strategy as the “Empire 2.0” plan, it was used as a slightly tongue-in-cheek shorthand for enhanced international trade outside and in competition with the European Union. The term was not intended to be taken literally. Unfortunately for Europe when some in the UK’s anti-EU movement became aware of the Whitehall and Downing Street phrase they failed to detect the deadpan humour behind it. For many ardent Brexiteers the establishment of a mercantile empire via the British Commonwealth of Nations seemed to be a perfectly reasonable objective to strive for. After all, what former territory of the “Empire 1.0” would reject the opportunity to buy goods and services from Britain or to ignore the wisdom of London on matters of international importance? Especially when the world is actually crying out for the steadfast leadership and common sense of England to guide it?
From The Daily Telegraph:
Britain will open two new military bases in the Caribbean and South East Asia as the country looks to step up its military presence overseas after Brexit, Gavin Williamson has revealed.
The Defence secretary urges Britons to stop downplaying the country’s influence internationally and recognise that the UK will stand tall on the world stage after leaving the European Union.
In an interview with The Telegraph in his Ministry of Defence office, Mr Williamson says: “We have got to be so much more optimistic about our future as we exit the European Union.
This is our biggest moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War… we can actually play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play.”
The statement by the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence follows on from last October’s announcement of a £1.8 billion increase in targeted military spending, much of it aimed at progressing the country’s stalled ballistic missile submarine replacement project, aptly named in the era of imperial fantasies, the Dreadnought class. However that budget top-up pointedly ignored the predicted £7 billion to £15 billion gap in Britain’s widely derided ten-year rearmament plan, which requires the country to buy new warships, aircraft and armoured vehicles with money it doesn’t have.