Britain's Post-Brexit World Influence Remains Intact

12th July 2017 / United Kingdom
Britain's Post-Brexit World Influence Remains Intact

A new global survey from Ipsos MORI across 25 countries finds that 57% of the global public think Britain’s influence on world affairs is positive. This is a higher score than the US (40%) and China (49%), but lower than Germany (67%), Australia (79%) and Canada (81%). The global view sees Britain’s influence to be similarly positive to that of the EU (57%) and France (59%).
From a list of 11 states, the global public sees Canada as the most positive influence.Britain is mid table; the US lags behind China and India, just ahead of Russia.
However, EU countries are less positive (48%) about Britain than the Global community (57%). In some EU countries (Spain, Germany and Belgium) fewer than half of citizens see Britain’s influence as positive. Just 29% of Spanish citizens, and 35% of those in Germany and Belgium, say Britain’s current influence on world affairs is positive.
EU members are among the least positive about Britain’s current influence
Two thirds (66%) of Britons believe their own country is a positive influence on world affairs. The British public rate only Canada (87%) and Australia (84%) above themselves. 48% believe the EU has a positive influence on world affairs, whilst 52% believe its influence is negative.

  • 82% of the Russian public think their country is a positive influence on world affairs, compared to just 35% of the rest of the world – a 47 percentage point difference.
  • In the US, two thirds (67%) believe America’s influence is positive, yet only four-in-ten (40%) of the global public say the same – a 27 percentage point gap.

In Britain (and worldwide), America’s influence in world affairs is viewed less positively than China’s. This echoes other recent research by Pew that found America’s global image has suffered under the Trump presidency. 44% of Britons say China is having a positive influence on world affairs – compared to just 36% for the United States. This strongly contrasts with the view in the US, where 75% say Britain is a positive global influence.
However, it really depends on what you mean by influence. The Ipsos MORI poll is more about positive influence. With over 800 military bases located in 70 countries to project its power, America is seen as an imperial force by much of the world. By Contrast, Russia has just 9 military bases outside of its own territory but 6 of those are on border countries. Britain has 14 military bases with 7 on small, strategically based islands.
The U.S. describes itself in many newspapers and periodicals as “A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, playing a leading role in NATO and the World bank.” The home page and ‘About the United States’ first article to read is entitled “How do I …. properly display the American flag” and “Learn about the American flag and how to properly display it” – which probably says all you need to know!

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