Brexit Vote Fuelled By Public Distrust Of Politics After Tony Blair’s War In Iraq, Says Sir Jeremy Greenstock

On Brexit, Greenstock, who spent his career in the Foreign Office, said that other countries were telling him of they were baffled by it because UK did so much trade with the EU.

“The Japanese cannot understand what we’ve done to ourselves. The Japanese are an island with problems with their continent, but if they’d had an arrangement with their continent they wouldn’t have snapped it in two. And they realise the value of it.

“And they invested in the UK as a launch pad for their sales into the European Union and they are thinking ‘do we have to disinvest?’ They are thinking that. And so are the Americans and so are the other big countries.”

However, he added: “We can handle things, we will come back, we will have trade arrangements, we are a trading nation and from three steps back we can advance again if we are well-led, if we create new relationships, if we negotiate well.

“We have denied ourselves a lot of leverage in doing our new trade arrangements because we are demanders everywhere. And diplomats and negotiators hate being the demanders, we’ve made things harder for ourselves but we are a nation to be reckoned with.

“I think they’ve taken us three steps back and we have got the opportunity to be great again, having exhausted ourselves getting back to square one and then moving forward. I think we’ve shot ourselves somewhere, it may only be in the toe, we’ll have to see how good it is, but we are starting further back”.


* Jeremy Greenstock’s ‘Iraq: The Cost of War’ is published by Heinemann.

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