Margot Parker, UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, believes the Government should explore using as many tools as possible to make Brexit a success, saying “As a country we already have links around the world, especially through the Commonwealth, as well as the infrastructure and institutions to make our re-engagement with the world a massive success.
“Opposition to the very concept of Brexit by certain institutions and even Government departments might cause some very good opportunities to be missed – possibly even intentionally.
“One example is the BBC World Service. The World Service reaches 100's of millions of people every week in an impressive, and growing, array of languages. While retaining more impartiality than the parts of the BBC focused on domestic broadcasting, we must make sure the World Service does not serve as a vehicle for ‘talking down’ the UK post-Brexit – indeed, it should do the opposite.
“Given its audience and penetration, and aspirations to reach even more people all over the world, even a neutral tone when dealing with Brexit would be helpful and go a long way towards compensating for the more hysterical coverage and statements some are making in the UK.
“Since the World Service is funded by Government, specifically the department now run by Boris Johnson, I would hope its potential to be a massive and positive contributor to how the world sees the UK is fully explored and utilised.
Mrs Parker said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can also do more through its embassies and consulates.
“Despite the shockwaves going through Whitehall, and the institutional pro-EU bias within the FCO, there is a lot our embassy and consular staff could already be doing a lot to prepare the ground for Brexit.
“Informal gauging of post-Brexit trade possibilities, holding events and open-houses promoting the UK even before we leave the EU, and a concerted and coordinated effort to talk-up their country are what they should all be doing.
“This is another job for Boris – making sure those appointed to office within his department toe the Brexit line, even if this means replacing diplomatic staff who are unable to accept the direction of government and the will of the British people.”