Saturday 7 May 2022

'Whitehall was horrified by Brexit’: an interview with Australia’s departing high commissioner

Australia's departing High Commissioner [ambassador] in London says, in an interview, that the British civil service detests Brexit and therefore tried to prevent a trade deal with Australia happening.

'I think the idea of the West is a kind of 20th-century notion. The idea of the “democratic world” is a much better way of capturing the fact that liberal democracies exist in the Indo-Pacific as well as in the Euro-Atlantic....

'Your institutions are extremely resilient; I’ve never seen institutions in a peaceful country tested like they were in 2018 and 2019 [over Brexit]. What I think is really important is that the narrative of decline has now been arrested. You broke th

‘Britain has all the opportunities. What it has lacked, because of 45 years of being cocooned within the EU, is the enterprising globalising culture to seize those opportunities beyond the Euro--Atlantic and to go into the Indo-Pacific.

‘I know Boris gets flayed sometimes for corny patriotism. But what I think he has done for the British people – particularly for working-class people – is to show them a leader who actually gets the concept of the possibility of British greatness. To change an inherited multi-generational, establishment-reinforced Whitehall-sanctioned culture takes a lot of doing. But that is what Britain is capable of and I think Johnson, for all his faults, has been able to at least kindle that.’

I remember the British press shamefully printed articles that worried that a trade deal would not protect British farmers, rather than hoping it would reduce food prices. So corrupting has our membership of the EEC/EC/EU been.

It is slightly worrying, much as I support Ukraine in this terrible war, that the upper echelon of the British civil service which is now very woke and hates Brexit loves the proxy war with Russia. It is part of a global elite that includes their counterparts in the USA, who struggled to undermine and get rid of Donald Trump, and in Italy that  got rid of Salvini.

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