The reporting on Boris Johnson’s “Saudi slapdown” overshadowed a significant week demonstrating a tension that will be at the heart of the UK’s post-Brexit foreign policy.
Last Friday the foreign secretary delivered the government’s most detailed foreign policy speech since the EU referendum to an audience at Chatham House. However, it was remarks made the previous day in Rome that have gained greater attention.
Since the summer, “global Britain” has been a slogan repeated by government ministers to reassure themselves and third countries that the UK will not retreat into isolationism as it leaves the EU. On the contrary, the UK will become more internationally engaged.