World

Britain Is The World's Second Biggest Power, Says Report

The report says the UK has more military might than China.

A new report says the UK is the world’s second most powerful nation, maintaining its position in the rankings.

The findings were made by the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank group, in its annual ‘Audit of Geopolitical Capability’.

The study describes the UK as 'a truly global power' which has the ability to 'project and extend itself …around the world'. The audit also claims that Britain’s fundamental capacities have faced no 'discernible impact' from Brexit.

The UK, boosted by its overseas investment, aid and military, is ranked ahead of China and Russia.

Soldiers at Vostok 2018 (Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence).
'Vostok 2018' between Russia and China was the biggest military exercise since the Cold War, according to the Russian government (Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence).

The audit finds the UK retains a military might greater than that of China and technological prowess 'far in advance' of Russia. However, it attributes much of the UK’s comparative power to its diplomatic, financial and cultural capabilities and links around the globe.

However, Chief Analyst James Rogers, says the UK's position is under threat from countries like Russia and China.

"We should put our own military into perspective in relation to other countries' militaries because most of them are also facing same sorts of problems that our country has (budget black hole and recruitment issues)," he explained.

"If you look at the overall tonnage in the British (Royal Navy) fleet and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, you'll actually see there is more than the German Navy, French Navy and the Italian Navy put together.  

"But some countries like China and Russia, are gaining on us and gaining on us at an increasingly rapid clip, so therefore we should be thinking about investing more money in our Armed Forces in order to maintain the position we've held for some time.

"China has enormous mass behind it and I'd say it's only a matter of time until China does actually overtake the UK but that doesn't necessarily reflect badly on the UK, it's simply the case that China has over a billion people."

James Rogers explains how military power is measured in the report.

The study says just 0.4% naval investment separates Britain and China, with Beijing adding approximately 65,000 tonnes of large new warships to its fleet since 2016.

Mr Rogers also said that "without significant new funding for Research and Development, the UK risks falling dangerously behind in the new technological race".

In eight of the nine sub-categories, the study considers the UK as a top-five power.

A 'global power' is said to mean the country is capable of protecting itself and defending its own interests anywhere in the world.

Chinese Navy review in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018
Chinese Navy in the South China Sea (Picture: PA).

Meanwhile, Russia is seen as a 'regional power' which can only prosecute objectives within its own region, according to the report.

Military power makes up 15% of the study's overall score.

In October 2018, the MOD was granted an additional £1 billion of funding with the need to boost the UK's cyber capabilities and anti-submarine warfare capability highlighted by the Chancellor.

However, that extra funding was labelled as a mere "drop in the ocean" by Admiral Lord West, a former head of the Royal Navy. 

The Global Audit’s rankings by nation are:

  1. USA
  2. UK
  3. China
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Japan
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. India
  10. Russia
  11. South Korea
  12. Italy
  13. Brazil
  14. South Africa
  15. Argentina
  16. Indonesia
  17. Turkey
  18. Mexico
  19. Saudi Arabia
  20. Nigeria