IF the UK Government’s script had gone according to plan, the year of “Global Britain”, would be off to a roaring start by now.

Freed from the shackles of the EU, went the narrative, the country was set to do business with the rest of the world on a scale not seen since the days of empire.

Reality looks rather different. “Global Britain”, like every other country in the world, is engaged in a life and death battle at home against Covid. Far from sailing free from EU rules and old disputes, the fishing industry feels itself ensnared in new red tape. Next week, as a new US President takes office, the UK lines up with every other country to court favour with the administration. Whither the special relationship now?

With so much changed or up in the air, Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary and yesterday’s Minister for the Sunday Shows, had some serious multi-tasking to do. From the fishing row and quarantine hotels to the advisability of booking a summer holiday (not appropriate right now, in case you were wondering), he was questioned on half a dozen topics and counting.

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The one which could make headlines, despite a busy week to come, turned out to be China and the Trade Bill, which returns to the Commons on Tuesday.

A group of Conservative backbenchers wants to amend the bill to give the High Court in London the right to examine evidence of genocide and find a country guilty of the crime.

The prime target for such a move, as set out in an article for the Sun on Sunday by former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, would be China and its treatment of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang.

China had repeatedly blocked attempts at the UN to have its treatment of the Uighurs classed as genocide, wrote Mr Duncan Smith. He noted that despite its government’s behaviour, China’s economy was set to grow by seven per cent next year “while the West languishes in double-dip recession”.

On Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday, the Foreign Secretary was asked if, in the face of accusations of Chinese-run re-education camps and forced sterilisation, “words of condemnation and a few restrictions on British business” were really enough.

They were not, he agreed. But his immediate remedy, for “an authoritative third party” such as the UN Human Rights Commissioner to visit the sites where Uighurs were being held, looks unlikely to satisfy Mr Duncan Smith and other critics.

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China, and many other topics besides, will be on the list of concerns of US President Joe Biden, as he becomes at noon, Washington DC time, on Wednesday. It will not be at the top. With a death toll from Covid now heading for 400,000, there is no question about the new President’s number one priority.

Since the only thing commentators can agree on about this inauguration is that it will be like no other, the Sunday shows had to be a little more creative than usual in marking the occasion.

The Andrew Marr Show opted for an interview with American broadcasting royalty Gloria Borger. CNN’s chief political analyst said the Biden inauguration would not only look different because of Covid rules on social distancing. Given the invasion of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob it would be “emotionally” distinct too.

With President Trump leaving for his complex at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Wednesday morning for an as yet unspecified “event”, she said there would be none of the graciousness on display when the Obamas handed over to the Trumps in 2016.

But questions surfaced about that handover yesterday, with a long read in the New York Times setting out what was a duel, good cop-bad cop approach by the Obama administration.

While welcoming the new team in, it was also made clear to Mr Trump and his staff that they had questions to answer about alleged Russian involvement in the election.

One would call those days seismic if so much had not happened after, including Mr Trump’s sacking of FBI director James Comey. Just in time for Mr Trump’s exit, Mr Comey has a new book out, Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency and Trust, which he discussed with Sophy Ridge.

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This was the more colourful interview of the two, with Mr Comey adopting a decidedly red top tone in his descriptions of his former boss. He said he had never met an adult with a greater hunger for affirmation than Mr Trump; he had seen it in three-year-olds but not an adult. “It’s like air, he needs it constantly.”

While he wanted to see Mr Trump impeached, he feared a wider criminal investigation and prosecution turning into a new Donald Trump show.

Like many, he was worried about the potential for violence around the inauguration. At the same time, he reckoned the authorities had the capability, investigative and tactical, to protect locations.

The truth of that will be seen in the coming days. Meanwhile, as Mr Trump and his family prepared for moving day, there was one last gift for him, this one surely unwanted. A new poll from the Pew Research Center put his approval rating at 29% – his lowest ever. In contrast, 64% of those polled approved of Mr Biden’s behaviour during the transition.

Mr Trump may be leaving Washington, but Washington is not done with him yet.