HOW THINGS HAVE changed since I last wrote. The referendum pushed through a vote for the UK to ‘Leave’ the European Union, radically changing the face of European politics. We have a new government tasked with guiding us through these uncertain times and, crucially, determining when to trigger Article 50. In this issue our panel of experts assess the lay of the land. Diplomat has contributions on the subject from two former British Ambassadors, the former Diplomatic Editor of The Times and a language expert. The Ambassador Partnership’s John Buck compares Brexit to a troubled marriage with three courses of action to choose from: first, to squeeze the most advantageous deal out of the other side; second, to seek an expeditious and amicable settlement for the sake of the children (other EU members); or third, to examine together what has gone wrong and try to fix it. Diplomat’s regular contributor, former Ambassador Charles Crawford, poses questions for both a Hard and a Soft Brexit. He contemplates what Brexit means for the UK’s foreign policy as a whole. Michael Binyon says Britain must redouble its efforts outside Europe to retain its political influence in global affairs. But how will it go about doing that? Is its seat at the UN Security Council safe? Is this an opportunity for a reinvigorated Commonwealth? Nick Burchell of Clear Voice says that the UK does have one trump card up its sleeve: the English language. For example, we learn that China now has more English speakers than the entire population of the US.
Also in this issue of Diplomat, we are pleased to publish contributions from the Ambassador of Turkmenistan who writes on his country’s 25th anniversary of Independence, and the High Commissioner for St Kitts and Nevis who sets out his country’s agenda for people-empowerment. As a follow-up to his wife’s piece two years ago, the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps has written a personal account of leaving the Foreign Office and joining the Royal Household. As always, Diplomat reviews the Credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting with the Ambassadors of Georgia, Hungary, Israel, and Romania, along with the High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda and Haiti’s new Chargé d’Affaires.
In the lifestyle section, Diplomat enjoys a taste of the VIP treatment in the newly renovated Royal Suite at The Savoy, and dinner at Romulo Café, a new Filipino restaurant in Kensington with a serious diplomatic heritage. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice inour book and arts reviews, including the Antony Gormley exhibition at White Cube Bermondsey and Cyril de Commarque’s Fluxland, a travelling installation that will be seen on the river this month as part of the ‘Totally Thames’ festival. Finally, I always want to hear from you, our readers, on article suggestions, new appointments, local news and other embassy events that you would like covered. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org