The British Embassy in the Czech Republic and Institute for Politics and Society organize the conference "The United Kingdom's Future a Rapidly Changing World".

According to “Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy”, a policy paper published in March 2021, the UK is striving to remain an essential and proactive part of the international community following Brexit. The paper highlights three fundamental national interests which unite British citizens – sovereignty, security, and prosperity – and lays out four objectives to which reinforce these interests. These objectives include: sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology, shaping the open international order of the future, strengthening security and defence at home and overseas, and building resilience at home and overseas. 

PROGRAM

14:00 – 14:15  WELCOME SPEECH

H.E. Nick Archer, Ambassador, British Embassy in the Czech Republic

 

14:15 – 15:15  ECONOMIC SECURITY AND PROTECTIONISM IN A POST-COVID ENVIRONMENT

The global economy has been ravaged by the recent pandemic, and self-sufficiency, or autarky, as an economic framework has increased in popularity. The UK has, therefore, chosen to emphasise openness as a source of prosperity. At the same time, the UK has fallen out of favour with Europe as a result of Brexit, and may struggle to find cooperative trade partners within the EU bloc. Additionally, the “special relationship” between the UK and US may not carry much weight under the new Biden administration. The UK has seen its soft power decrease as a result of leaving the EU, and must focus on international engagement and trade in order to shore up its position on the world stage.

  • How can we combat the increased popularity of autarky and isolationism resulting from the recent pandemic?
  • What does the future of UK trade look like? Will having left the EU realistically improve its opportunities in international trade?
  • What would the role of the WTO be in responding to calls for protection in order to increase a state’s resilience? Would sector-specific initiatives – such as COVAX for vaccines – be preferable to general trade policies?

Speakers:

Milena Hrdinková, State Secretary for European Affairs, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic

Tomáš Petříček, Senior Non-Resident Fellow, Institute of International Relations, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic

Michal Skořepa, Economist, Česká spořitelna

Kryštof Kruliš, Research Fellow, Association for International Affairs

Jan Kovář, Senior researcher, Institute of International Relations

Moderator: Jan Macháček, Chairman of the Board of Trustee, Institute for Politics and Society.

 

15:15 – 15:30   COFFEE BREAK 

 

15:30 – 16:30   THE UK ON THE WORLD STAGE: STRONGER OR WEAKER POST-BREXIT?

The silver lining to Brexit is that the UK may now chart its own path in global politics. That being said, it is unlikely that the UK will stray too far from its position pre-Brexit. The UK thrives in, and relies on, the rules-based international order we have come to understand, and polls suggest that the Brits have “deep reserves of faith in bodies like the UN and NATO”. The UK plans to become more flexible in response to an increasingly fluid international environment, and will increase efforts to protect their societies and democratic values. In that context, we will likely see cooperation between the UK, Europe, and the US in an effort to confront malign Chinese and Russian influence in Europe, and the rest of the world.

  • What can the UK do to meaningfully rebuild trust with mainland Europe?
  • Is Brexit an opportunity or setback in promoting the UK’s strategic objectives? 
  • Will we see increased engagement from the UK in institutions such as NATO or the UN?

Speakers:

Samantha Job, Director for Defence and International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

H.E. Luís de Almeida Sampaio, Ambassador, The Portuguese Embassy in Prague

Aleš Chmelař, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic

Tony Barber, European Affairs Columnist, Financial Times

Tereza Matysová, Czech Journalist Active in the UK

Kristina Soukupová, President, Defense and Security Hub

Moderator: Jan Macháček, Chairman of the Board of Trustee, Institute for Politics and Society

 

16:30 – 16:45   CLOSING REMARKS

Samantha Job, Director for Defence and International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

 

16:45 – 18:00   RECEPTION

 

 

ORGANIZERS OF THE CONFERENCE ARE

The event is by invitation only. 

 

Prague