On the 7th of April 2017, another discussion with Angus Stewart, Deputy Ambassador of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Czech Republic, was held. The discussion covered current bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Czech Republic, the working life of Her Majesty’s Ambassador, ‘BREXIT’ and the future of the EU. Deputy Ambassador Angus Stewart has previously worked in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the field of crucial and preventive diplomacy.
In the beginning of the presentation, we been focused on the development of the relationship between the Czech Republic and Great Britain, and its current situation, in light of the fact that there are currently around 40 000 Czech people living in the UK as legal immigrants. During the discussion, we highlighted the high grade relations between our countries in international and bilateral cooperation, defence and in cooperation in the cyber-fields. Concerning the defence budget, the British army has spent more than $50 billion on it, which accounts for 2% of its gross domestic product.
One of the most contentious topics was the British referendum on leaving the European Union, commonly known as ‘Brexit’, followed by the post-Brexit negotiations and economic cooperation with member states of the European Union. All of these key points are to be solved in a time frame of two years. The result of the referendum leaves many questions in its wake, which will have to be solved by the British government. One of the first problems is the growth of separatist tendencies in particular dependent territories, for example Gibraltar. The next problem identified was the question of the triggering of a further Scottish referendum.
Subsequent discussion was mainly focused on the role of Great Britain in Europe. The most strongly emphasised key sentence was: ,,Britain is leaving the EU, but will still remain in Europe!” Also discussed was the role of the USA in the UK’s relationship with the Europe. We further discussed the role of the Visegrad-4 in internal-european questions, the attitude of particular states toward the Syrian conflict, the role of Turkey and the distinctions between European and Middle Eastern systems of diplomacy, which principally include differences in consulting systems of local offices and lobbying.