Global Britain and the International Rules-based Order

Part of Brexit, Science and Innovation – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 6th September 2018.

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Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Conservative, Hornchurch and Upminster 4:11 pm, 6th September 2018

It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend Paul Masterton and to hear his positive case for a global Britain. I am also grateful to my hon. Friend Tom Tugendhat for speaking with such passion about this extremely timely subject.

In Brexit, we are managing the most momentous political change of my lifetime. This period of renewal is taking place in an era when the effectiveness of international governance structures is being questioned, the power dynamics across the world are shifting fundamentally, and technology is altering the possibilities available to citizens of every country. Faith is withering in established international rules and institutions, many of which were drawn up in the aftermath of the second world war to lock in peace, as they struggle to reflect new realities such as mass migration and the movement of global capital. That is raising real questions about what it means to be a citizen, to whom Governments should extend assistance, to whom global companies should be accountable, and the very nature of the bonds and values that glue societies together. Meanwhile, as China and other nations grow in economic power, our certainty that international norms necessarily reflect universal values is being challenged.

Those trends are unnerving, but they also present an opportunity to a global Britain that is ambitious to carve a new place in the world: a place that proudly reflects who we are now, rather than what we might have been in some nostalgia-tinted past; a place that sees us regain confidence in the values we bring as a nation that upholds the rule of the law and individual freedom; and a place that encourages technological and scientific advance.