UK earns third best country spot despite Brexit fears

The UK has retained its spot as third best country in the world despite anxieties over Brexit, a global survey suggests.

Switzerland took first place followed by Canada and the UK, the survey by US News & World Report, Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania shows.

The UK’s ranking is based on nine sub-categories in which the country ranks fourth for Entrepreneurship and Power, and fifth for Cultural Influence. It also came second in the list of countries offering the best education, beaten only by Canada.

Part of the Power ranking includes a high score for “strong international alliances” - despite the UK’s vote to leave the European Union last June.

The UK’s country profile reads: “The year 2017 ushered in anxiety about the country’s role on the global stage, due to the public voting in the summer of 2016 to leave the European Union.

“The vote raises questions about the European Union, as well as the policies supporting the eurozone.”

The profile goes on to describe the UK as a “highly developed nation” that exerts “considerable international economic, political, scientific and cultural influence” upon the global stage.

The UK was third overall in 2016 and “continues to be at the scientific and technological fore”, the profile continues, with scientist Professor Stephen Hawking and inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee cited as examples of innovative British thinking.