Shangri-La Dialogue: Brexit is weakening UK's role in the world, top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini says

Federica Mogherini made the comments days after European Parliament elections showed Brexit had upended Britain's established political order.
Federica Mogherini made the comments days after European Parliament elections showed Brexit had upended Britain's established political order.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) is eroding its own influence in the world without hurting the bloc's ability to wield global power, according to the EU's top diplomat.

Ms Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, made the comments at a security forum in Singapore just days after European Parliament elections showed Brexit had upended Britain's established political order.

Both the ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party recorded their worst results in decades.

"For the moment I am afraid that the effect is more on the UK than on the rest of the union," she said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual forum that focuses on Asia defence issues.

"I see, and I regret, that this is weakening the UK's role in the world, but I think it doesn't affect the European Union's role in the world."

The UK now has until Oct 31 to exit the bloc.

Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to step down in June, putting all forms of Brexit back on the table, with some seen as more economically damaging than others.

While Brexit has rattled the British economy and caused some international firms to move production out of the country, Ms Mogherini said the country is "a cooperative member in foreign and security issues".

British Secretary of State for Defence Penny Mordaunt sought to reassure attendees at the gathering, saying the UK remains committed to its long-held role in maintaining security and protecting values such as human rights.

"The UK is a partner that you can rely on," she said. "Global Britain stands ready and we are optimistic about the future."