In the history of mankind, there have been times when political and religious authorities have opposed power struggles that have resulted in one silencing the other. Such a struggle for control between political and religious authorities has even affected the United Kingdom, once one of the most powerful empires in the world. The clash for supremacy between Catholics and Protestants was the main problem undermining the stability of the country. As a result, Queen Elizabeth I forged a path that would vitally change Britain during her reign in order to gain absolute power.
Some groups believed that the Queen’s many campaigns were acts of revenge against Catholics who were trying to eradicate Protestantism, especially during the time of Mary I. However, the Queen’s main goal was to use her leadership and position to eliminate political and religious interference from foreign powers.
However, in order to achieve its ultimate goal, the power of the church should be in its hands and the order should be restructured after reforming the church via local reformers. This was due to the growing influence of Catholicism in the country which meant that the Pope would act as the head of the church and Roman Catholicism would overtake the monarchy.
Therefore, in 1559, Queen Elizabeth built the Church of England, moving away from the hemisphere of influence of Rome. The Queen has become the dominant power in matters of religion and governance. The decisions made by the Queen hundreds of years ago are still relevant to British politics today, admiration for freedom of maneuver in domestic and foreign policy.
Therefore, in 2020, history repeated itself when the UK withdrew from the European Union even though many players in UK politics held differing views. It’s no secret that there is a wide range of issues that EU nations disagree with, such as immigration policies. The organization is also seen as a German-led entity, with the UK being one of the strongest countries in the bloc alongside the aforementioned Germany and France. The world silently witnessed Brexit as interventionist attitudes transcended the collective interests and benefits of staying in the EU, which has since fragmented the bloc. British politics have anticipated the fragmentation of the EU, which has not been able to collectively counter the shift in power over the past decade. So the UK sensed the eventual demise of the EU and sailed to better opportunities.
British politics are one of the most meritorious of world politics. He placed a last-minute wedge in the France-Australia submarine deal and then forged a defense pact with the US and Australia called AUKUS. These are just the latest examples of how British politics have foiled and overwhelmed France.
The other pending issue between Paris and London is the dispute over fishing, which would test the bloc’s alliance. So far, the two sides have not shied away from intimidation and rebuff tactics to outsmart each other.
Influence of soft power
The UK has lost its grip on the international scene alongside the decline of its hard power. After World War II, power shifted to Americans with new doctrines that compelled others to obey the rules of a new world order and prevent them from exploiting and occupying other nations, at least openly.
As mentioned earlier, the UK’s influence has waned, but not as much as its hard power. Hong Kong’s return to China was the latest incident in which the UK’s prestige as a global superpower is no longer true. However, the power of British diplomacy and soft power is still strong, active and influential.
Since the world has changed, leadership requirements have also had to be updated through their priorities, policies, visions and resources used as a form of soft power.
Right now the UK faces challenges at home in terms of its existence, particularly Scottish independence being a hot debate that will continue to occupy domestic politics for years to come. In line with the motto “a stronger, safer, more prosperous and more resilient union”, the UK will strive to protect its geopolitical status at home.
According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 2021 was to be the start of Global Britain: sustaining, improving and innovating in every area possible to revive the UK’s global image.
As noted in the Integrated Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy Review, the UK aims to step back as an influential global power by 2030. In this regard, âto create new foundations for our prosperity âmay mean more exclusive pact formations and international political groups such as AUKUS, where British national interests trump European interests. Moreover, being more actively engaged in NATO strategies shows the UK’s lack of hard power; on the other hand, there is an innate strategic will to go to other regions such as Asia-Pacific.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier class and flagship of the Royal Navy fleet, will be deployed worldwide, particularly in the Indo-Pacific due to the current situation in that part of the world. .
“Nation that shares the burden”
There is an aging crisis in many developed countries such as the UK, which means that various sectors, including vital sectors such as defense, will also need manpower. It is also common knowledge that it is easier for some to immigrate to the UK than to other developed countries in Europe. The reason behind this is the distinction of vision and perspective between British politics and other European politics. With the UK having acquired sufficient knowledge about the characteristics of the lands and people under his rule, he kept a head start in world politics compared to Germany and France. Therefore, time will show us the UK’s problem-solving, burden-sharing or political approaches when its strength lasts equals other great powers.
Therefore, we will see how far the UK can go with its outdated and outdated military equipment, domestic problems, slow economic growth and separate foreign policy.
* Holds a master’s degree in Human Sciences in Political Science from the International Islamic University, Malaysia