History

Global Britain was founded in 1997 by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, Lord Stoddart of Swindon and Lord Harris of High Cross with the aim of making the case that Britain’s prosperity is founded on a global vision, not a European customs union, and that British prosperity would be best served by withdrawing from the European Union.

From 1997 to 2013 Global Britain’s main activities were briefing peers, MPs and MEPs of all parties for their debates and select committee work in the Westminster and European parliaments. When, in February 2013, the Prime Minister announced his policy of re-negotiating after the next election the terms of EU membership and putting the outcome to the British people in a referendum, it was decided to focus Global Britain’s research and activities on two important non-parliamentary “constituencies”: the City of London in particular and British business in general.

Global Britain sought to provide the positive business case for the UK to leave the European Union and published a wealth of research briefs and papers to that end. Now that the argument for an outward-facing, sovereign, democratic United Kingdom has been won Global Britain is committed to ensuring that our politicians do not betray the 17.4 million Britons that voted for change.

More reports, papers and briefing notes are published regularly on issues relating to the Brexit negotiations to explain just how important it is that the UK leaves the Single Market and its Customs Union. Make sure you are signed up for your free soft copies.

Brief biographies of the founders

Lord Harris of High Cross read 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. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher made him a life peer in the first honours list of her premiership; he sat as a cross-bencher until his death in 2006. The IEA under his direction 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 Margaret 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’s withdrawal from the EU, he left the Conservative Party in 2007 to join the United Kingdom Independence Party. He stepped down from Global Britain in 2013.

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 and sits in the House of Lords as an Independent Labour member. He stepped down from Global Britain in 2013.

Lord Willoughby de Broke served on Global Britain’s Advisory Council from 2009 to 2013. He was Chairman of St Martin’s 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. Having entered as a hereditary peer, he was elected a member of the House of Lords in 1999. He left the Conservative Party in 2007 to join the United Kingdom Independence Party. He stepped down from Global Britain in 2013.