Jonathan Smith gets a view of the UK from the outside:
There is nothing quite like being able to stand back from your own situation and context, and see things through the lens of others, to realise that your own view of the world may not be the whole story.
My wife and I are currently on a family visit to France – recently permitted on both sides of the Channel.
According to some, we should be finding the French to be anti-British, struggling under the weight of European bureaucracy, and envious of the new freedoms captured by the first country to renounce its EU membership.
Instead, we have been greeted with civility, in a proud country that shows no sign of have lost its “sovereignty”, and looking with almost pity at the depth to which the UK is sinking as a global player.
Being amongst relatives who are involved in international affairs, it is painful to hear their reflections on how our country has, far from gaining strategic and economic power, been inexorably losing power and influence by the day.