The United Kingdom is the most successful nation-state in history. Her reach - cultural, linguistic, military, diplomatic, scientific, political, economic - is global. She has global interests to promote and defend. The security, prosperity and well-being of her people increasingly depend on the success of her engagement with the wider world beyond Europe.
Global Britain, like three quarters of the British population, does not accept that British membership of the European Union is self-evidently in British interests, nor, in the words of Tony Blair, that "Britain's destiny is Europe".
Britain's destiny ceased to be European centuries ago when English settlers began their transatlantic odyssey. Within the next fifty years the USA and China between them will account for half of the world economy; quite possibly, India will account for another quarter. According to the EU Commission, Continental Europe, even after enlargement, will be lucky to muster ten per cent. For the next century the world will be dominated by the USA, China and India. Continental Europe will be increasingly irrelevant.
The European Union is a failing regional bloc, built on assumptions that seemed immutable in the 1960s but are now archaic. It is in crisis. Its economy underperforms the rest of the developed world. It is increasingly unpopular with its citizens - and not just in the UK. Its leaders are determined to ignore the "no" votes in the French and Dutch referendums on the EU Constitution and impose it regardless. It is far from axiomatic that British interests are best-served by belonging to such an organisation.
Against that background, Global Britain conducts meticulously objective research and analysis into the key aspects of, on the one hand, the UK's relationship with the EU, and, on the other, the UK's relationships with the rest of the world. At the same time, Global Britain examines the feasibility of the UK's withdrawing from the EU, resuming her role as an independent self-governing democratic nation-state, making her own decisions, choosing her own alliances and sitting, speaking and voting on her own behalf in multilateral bodies such as the World Trade Organisation.
Who we are
Global Britain was founded in 1997 by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, Lord Stoddart of Swindon and Lord Harris of High Cross (who died in 2006).
Lord Harris of High Cross ( - 2006) gained a first in economics at Cambridge and lectured in political economy at the University of St Andrews from 1949 to 1956. He was appointed General Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on its foundation by Anthony Fisher in 1956; subsequently, he became the IEA’s Chairman in 1987 and its Founder-President in 1990. He was a director of Times Newspaper Holdings Ltd between 1988 and 2001. Prime Minister Thatcher made him a Life Peer in 1979 in her first honours list; he sat as a cross-bencher until his death in 2006. The IEA under Ralph’s direction has had an enormous influence on public policy and on the views of leading politicians, notably Keith Joseph, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch spent his business career as an international insurance broker. Between 1983 and 1992 he represented UK commerce on the country's largest degree-awarding body, the Council for National Academic Awards. In 1984 he founded the Rannoch Charitable Trust, which has funded, inter alia, refugees from Communism in Europe, research for improvement in British state education and for environmental improvement of the Scottish Highlands. He was made a Life Peer in 1990 by Prime Minister Thatcher, and sat on the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities between 1992 and 1996. A leading exponent of the case for the UK to withdraw from the EU, he left the Conservative Party in 2007 to join the United Kingdom Independence Party.
Lord Stoddart of Swindon worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board between 1951 and 1972. He joined the Labour Party in 1947 and served on the Reading County Borough Council between 1954 and 1972, successively as Chairman of the Housing, Transport and Finance Committees and, between 1967 and 1972, as Leader of the Council. He was MP for Swindon between 1970 and 1983, serving as PPS to the Minister for Housing and Construction in 1974/5 and Assistant Government Whip in 1975. He became a Life Peer in 1983, serving as Opposition Spokesman on energy until 1988. He was Chairman of the Campaign for an Independent Britain from 1985 to 2008. He now sits in the House of Lords as Independent Labour.
Lord Willoughby de Broke was Chairman of St Martins Magazines plc 1992-2008, President, Heart of England Tourist Board 1996-2005, Patron, Warwickshire Association of Boys’ Clubs 1991-2004, and Member of the Anglo-Hong Kong Trust 1996-2006. He was a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities 1996-2001. He was elected to the House of Lords in 1999. He left the Conservative Party in 2007 to join the United Kingdom Independence Party.
Global Britain's Director, since 1999, is Ian Milne. He is chairman of companies involved in publishing and book distribution. He graduated in engineering from Cambridge University and has a forty-year career in industry and merchant banking in the UK, France and Belgium. He was the founder-editor (in 1993) of The European Journal, and the founder (in 1995) and first editor of eurofacts. His most recent publications, A Cost Too Far? (Civitas, July 2004), an analysis of the net economic costs and benefits for the UK of EU membership, and Backing the Wrong Horse (Centre for Policy Studies, December 2004), a review of the UK's trading arrangements and options for the future, can be viewed here at the "Publications by Global Britain authors" page.
Global Britain's Manager, since 1999, is Maxine Thomas (née Nesbitt).
What we do
- Publish original research in the form of concise Briefing Notes
- Provide material to national & regional TV, radio & press
- Brief Peers, MPs & MEPs for their debates and Select Committee work
- Participate in seminars, conferences & debates at home & abroad
- Alert Washington & US business to the dangers the EU poses for them
- Sponsor independent monitoring of Europhile bias on BBC News & Current Affairs programmes; lobby the BBC to remove such bias
How you can help
We rely entirely on private donations for our funding. If you would like to contribute, please contact Lord Pearson at the House of Lords, London SW1A OPA. Telephone 0207 219 3000.