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Britannia’s business

The Foreign Office has not grasped how utterly the world has changed over the past decade. David Howell, chairman of the Commons' foreign affairs committee, argues that Britain's interests lie increasingly outside Europe, where Commonwealth connections provide a unique advantage

By David Howell   January 1997

In the past decade the world has been embroiled in an upheaval in power and influence comparable to anything in recorded history-from the splitting of the Roman empire in 364 to the final fall of the Holy Roman empire in 1918. British foreign policy has not yet fully acknowledged this upheaval, let alone reacted in a suitable manner to the new realities.

That this should be the case is, however, brushed aside by many of the opinion pollsters and public relations experts who advise politicians on how to win support. These people repeat the view that the British public is…

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