As the former British Ambassador to the UAE, I know Brexit will fail if we don’t change our attitude toward the Middle East


Repeating the American line with a British accent (which was Blair’s particular skill) no longer impresses anybody, especially with President Trump in the White House. The Emiratis could be key to our financial success, but only if Boris Johnson pulls his socks up

Now that the UK is blundering around trying to find its way out of the EU, it is perhaps too much to ask that Britain should devote more time to talking to old friends in the Gulf region. It certainly seems that Britain is so wrapped up in the Brexit morass that most other parts of the world are being neglected.

The Brexit game must be exhilarating for those immediately involved, in terms of keeping the Tory Party together and advancing politicians’ careers. Sadly, if you take a pace back, it looks insane to put personal ambition and party politics ahead of the future of the country, particularly when playing a weak hand without a clear strategy, as seems to be the case in the Brexit negotiations.

Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, who is given to making statements about Britain being a great player and a positive force on the global stage, seems in practice to be undermining Britain’s strengths as a global player. Long is the list of international problems where Britain seems to have lost its voice, among them the Middle East and the Gulf.


Categories: Arab World, Asia, Trade, UAE, UK

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