BRITAIN is failing to reap the benefits of Brexit because of the defeatist mindset of ruling elites, a report reveals.
MPs, civil servants and business leaders are convinced the country is doomed to endless decline.
They just cannot let go of the EU comfort blanket, experts say.
They block efforts to forge lucrative trade links around the world or to play a leading role in standing up to foreign dictators.
The UK remains handcuffed to Europe six years after a majority voted to leave in a referendum.
The charge comes in a report by a think tank of politicians, academics and foreign policy experts.
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It warns: “The notion we are a country in decline is deeply ingrained in our elites, especially Whitehall and Westminster.
“It explains why we joined the EU and why we are struggling to escape its orbit.
“How different would our view of the world and of our role in it be if we thought of ourselves as a new and rising force rather than a nation in decline?”
The paper, published by the Centre for Brexit Policy, declares it a myth that Britain is a fading force on the world stage.
It says the UK is in the top six world powers, as it was 300 years ago.
The authors include Professor Robert Tombs of Cambridge, former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and foreign policy experts.
The report says: “After Brexit, Britain needs a self-confident national mindset, one that sets aside the myth of declinism and recognises the country has huge assets, not least the fact it is held in high regard across the world.”