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Beyond the slogan, no one has much idea what “Global Britain” means. The UK is in desperate need of a new foreign policy, once the pillar of the EU is removed next March. One country that is often mentioned as a model for the future by Brexiters is Canada, which has a free trade deal with the bloc.

Philip Stephens argues in his latest column that there are additional lessons to be learnt from Britain’s Commonwealth and Nato ally. Canada is proof of how a mid-tier country can play a positive role on the world stage. That success is partly due to temperament, but it is also an acknowledgement of its standing. Canada does not have delusions of grandeur about its importance. It takes its military commitments and liberal democratic values seriously. Britain will need to do the same after Brexit if it wishes to remain relevant, he argues.

Gillian Tett asks who owns our data when a company dies? A law suit involving Cambridge Analytica could set a precedent.

Chris Giles writes that the recent row over student finance shows that the UK’s official statistics are awry. The Office for National Statistics is too slow to make improvements.

Henry Mance looks back at political predictions and has found one certainty about Brexit: no one knows anything.

Our latest Year in a Word isMerkeldämmerung — the once unthinkable “twilight of the Merkel”.

What you’ve been saying

Echoes of vice-president Burr’s notorious career? letter from John Moore, Guildford, UK

The dissolution of the Trump Foundation after charges of “illegality” ( December 19) is strangely reminiscent of the fate of the Manhattan Company established in 1799 by the future US vice-president, Aaron Burr, with the supposedly public-spirited aim of providing clean water. It was in reality a dishonest undertaking designed to enable Burr to line his own pockets. Burr became a wretched figure, effectively bankrupt and destined to spend the rest of his life skulking in disgrace.

In response to “ America’s future is Asian, not Hispanic”, Chase D. Parker III says:

America’s future is unpredictable. Just leave it at that.

Climate change resilience is a race we must all win, letter from Emma Howard Boyd, London, UK

If banks don’t follow the Bank of England by including the impact of climate change in its stress tests they are running down the clock against worsening weather ( December 18). The Governor is right to highlight the opportunities in adapting financial regulation to ensure that assets, infrastructure and supply chains are more resilient. Company boards should also put aside capital expenditure for resilience measures. The Bank of England is giving the UK economy a head start. The challenge is that this is a race the whole world needs to win.

Today’s opinion

Who owns our data when a company dies?
A lawsuit over the remains of Cambridge Analytica could set new precedents

One thing about Brexit is certain — no one knows anything
Even the professionals’ predictions about what would happen have turned out wrong

Student finance distortions show official statistics are awry
Too often the ONS is slow and has to be prodded into improvements

Year in a Word: Merkeldämmerung
The once unthinkable ‘twilight of the Merkel’ has been gathering for some time

Brexit Britain should follow Canada’s lead
Ottawa offers an example of how second-rank powers can project global influence

Prepare for a synchronised global economic slowdown in 2019
The US, European and Asian central banks are on the alert as the economy weakens

FT View

The FT View: Congo’s election chaos threatens conflagration
Kabila’s government cannot be allowed to delay the vote any longer

The FT View: A robust blueprint to reform the auditors
Twin studies are a step forward in curbing the dominance of the Big Four

The Big Read

The Big Read: Crossrail: how Europe’s largest transport project stalled
London’s new rail line used private sector expertise but has been mired in cost increases and delays

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