Since 1945 Britain has had to cope with a slow descent from international primacy.
The decline in global influence was intended to be offset by the United Kingdom's entry into Europe in 1975, with the result that national foreign policy came to rest on the two pillars of the Atlantic alliance and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.
Yet with Brexit one of these pillars is now being removed, leaving Britain facing some serious challenges arising from its new independence. In this incisive book, Christopher Hill, a leading expert on both UK foreign policy and Europe's external relations, explores what lies ahead for British foreign policy in the shadows of Brexit and a more distant and protectionist America under Trump.
While there is much talk of a renewed global profile for the UK, Hill cautions that this is going to be difficult to turn into practical reality.
Whatever settlement the UK eventually negotiates as it leaves the EU it will not be able to detach itself from the fate of the Union and even less from that of the European continent.
Geography, history and limited resources mean that the scope of foreign policy will continue to be confined to Europe and the North Atlantic.
To that extent Britain is doomed to seek a continued foreign policy partnership with the Member States of the Union - only now it will be outside the room looking in.
As a result, there is the distinct possibility that both British and European foreign policies will end up worse off as the result of their divorce.