Declining Economic Influence

By 2030, the UK will have dropped outside of the world’s top ten economies. Britain seeks to still operate as part of a European partnership, but also to reposition itself as a global broker rather than a global power.

Over the next decade, as the E7 nations’ economies accelerate, Indonesia, Medico, Brazil and Turkey will all experience higher levels of progress than their G7 counterparts. Alongside China and India, they will collectively account for half of the world’s economy. As a result, the relative value of sterling is likely to decline, and when it drops outside the world’s top ten economies, the UK’s influence over the global hierarchy will further decline. Pragmatically, Britain seeks to still operate as part of a European partnership, but also reposition itself as a global broker rather than rekindle aspirations to be a global power.

Within the country, after a period of rising unemployment due to the expected post-Covid, post-Brexit 2021-24 slow-down, manufacturing will remain smaller than in many peer economies, and the service sector will continue to dominate with its share of GBP in UK plc rising from 75% to more than 80% by 2030. Many of the high-value service jobs and most company HQs are likely to remain in the South, and so overall income will continue to be focused there. Although different governments may try to mitigate this regional imbalance by driving greater public sector relocation and some private investment to prioritise more diverse future opportunities, the economic dominance of London and its hinterland is expected to remain. This risks deepening the North-South economic divide, so expect ongoing concern and calls for substantial action. This could include public sector job relocation, grants and subsidies for target industries, and strategic policy linked to the levelling up agenda.

Despite this economic decline, in recognition of growing international insecurity and the changing characteristics of modern warfare, government expenditure in the British Armed Forces will remain strong. However, this will not be reflected in an increased number of Armed Forces personnel. With a declining role in the world and with further personnel cuts, many in our workshops believed there will be a decline in overall morale in and support for the military. They expressed real concern about the government’s and Armed Forces community ability to live up to its commitment to support the veteran community. “If you can’t look after your personnel in the forces, how can you look after the veterans?”

At the same time, adjacent opportunities will be created by organisations which service the military by, for example, developing next generation technology. Indeed, the government predicts new projects will create up to 10,000 jobs a year across the country. Potentially, these might be of particular interest for transitioning Service men and women with the necessary qualifications.

Example Implication: A declining international role will reduce public pride in and support for Global Britain and the UK Armed Forces. Increased pressure on social services resources will limit the available support for those in transition.



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