Outgoing UK diplomat slams ‘chaotic politics’ and Brexit ‘shambles’

Britain's outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May | Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Outgoing UK diplomat slams ‘chaotic politics’ and Brexit ‘shambles’

Britain’s man in Singapore says the country’s leaders wonder what happened to ‘the nation they admired for stability, common sense, tolerance and realism.’


6/11/19, 11:18 PM CET

Updated 6/12/19, 4:53 AM CET

LONDON — The outgoing British high commissioner to Singapore has warned that the Asian city-state’s leaders are “baffled by the U.K.’s chaotic politics” and that Brexit is doing lasting damage to the U.K.’s reputation.

In a devastating assessment of the damage Brexit is doing to the U.K.’s global reputation, Scott Wightman, one of the country’s most senior diplomats, said major investors told him the balance of future investment in Europe “will inevitably be weighted more towards Germany and France,” with post-referendum political risk now their “principle consideration.”

His comments also cast doubt on the U.K.’s Global Britain strategy aimed at averting the economic damage of Brexit by using the country’s network of influence and trade links around the world.

In a confidential Foreign and Commonwealth Office diplomatic telegram, seen by POLITICO, Wightman, who has been in the job since 2015 but posted his last tweet as British high commissioner on Tuesday, said the Singapore-U.K. Partnership for the Future, an initiative to improve ties that was launched by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in January, was being used in the “classic manner of the illusionist.”

“Like posts across the network and departments in the U.K., we’re performing minor miracles for U.K.

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