Blog: Brexit LIVE: Liz Truss’ masterplan has unforeseen issue of keeping UK in European court – Express

Britain is failing to reap the benefits of leaving the European Union because it is held back by the “ruling elites” in Westminster, Whitehall and the professions who think the country is doomed to decline, according to the authors of a major report from the Centre for Brexit Policy.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is among the contributors who are appalled at the “defeatist mindset” they argue has gripped many decision-makers.

They attack the “myth” that Britain is a fading force on the world stage and argue the “declinist mentality” of members of the “governing elite” drove them to support joining the European Economic Community.

The report, whose co-authors include Cambridge University historian and former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer, warns: “The notion that we are a country in decline is deeply ingrained in our elites, especially Whitehall and Westminster. It explains why we joined the EU and why we are struggling to escape its orbit even after our departure.

“How different would our view of the world and of our role in it be if we thought of ourselves as a new and rising force, rather than a nation in decline? Whether post-Brexit Britain will in fact turn out to be a rising or a declining force is not determined by history or geography: it is essentially in our own hands.”

The report, Defining Britain’s Role in the World after Brexit, will be launched this week and urges those in the UK’s corridors of power to revitalise links with the United States and the Commonwealth to check the rise of authoritarian regimes.

It states: “Above all, Britain needs to re-establish a cohesive national purpose respectful of our past and our traditions and patriotic without being jingoistic. The most powerful remedy available to the Government to resolve national division is to ensure that Brexit is a tangible success and to make it unambiguously irreversible.”

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