Brexit has been hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a significant opportunity for the UK to expand its ties with global partners. But asked about the role the British Government could play in the ongoing Russia-Ukrain skirmish, Mr Stubbs claimed London’s position is “certainly diminished” since leaving the European Union. He cited struggles to find common ground with France on several issues as well as a weaker relationship with Germany as impacting the UK’s standing in the world.
Asked if Britain’s voice is “as strong as it was before” leaving the European Union, Mr Stubbs told LBC: “No, absolutely not.
“It has certainly diminished, there’s no question about that.
“If the United Kingdom was still a member of the European Union, I’m sure that the relations, for instance, with the French President or the German Chancellor would be much closer and there would be much more information and diplomatic discussions going on.”
He however pointed out the UK boasts one of the strongest intelligence networks in the world, a pivotal resource for its partners at times of crisis.
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He continued: “Having said that, the UK is still a member of the UN Security Council, it is a country with a very forceful military force, intelligence system bar none.
“Its diplomatic network is one of the best in the world.
“But certainly I would argue that the role has perhaps diminished a little bit because the UK is not in the EU anymore.”
Boris Johnson confirmed on Friday he will visit Ukraine and hold talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin next week to “ramp up deterrence to avoid bloodshed.”
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The Prime Minister joined a phone call with Joe Biden and European leaders during which they agreed on the importance of international unity amid growing Russian hostility, calling for diplomatic discussions with the country.
Russia’s foreign minister said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has “agreed a date” to visit Moscow within the next two weeks.
Ms Truss’ visit would be the first to the country since 2017, when Boris Johnson met with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
She has been forthright in speaking out against Russia’s threatened invasion of Ukraine, and took the unusual step of declassifying intelligence which suggested President Vladimir Putin was plotting to install a pro-Moscow leader as head of the government in Kyiv.