Britain is no superpower

Yalta conference: Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin (picture Library of Congress)

By Richard Laming

Published in The First Post, 9 December 2008

Daniel Hannan is as mistaken now to describe Britain as one of three superpowers in 1945 as the government was then to believe it (‘Brown pawns the country for electoral expediency’, December 5). In fact, his error is worse because he is neglecting all the experience since that time. Britain’s futile attempt to cling on to a world role turned out to be catastrophically unaffordable, an episode with which many people – including Mr Hannan, it seems – have still not properly come to terms.

British isolation from the rest of Europe has proved a miserable failure. The best economic times have been when Britain has pursued economic integration with its nearest neighbours and biggest trading partners: the worst have been when it has not.

Daniel Hannan tries to tell us that Britain is different from the rest of Europe because it went through Suez and decolonisation. But let’s not forget, those same things happened to France too.

Richard Laming

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