Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy did not enhance Britain's position in the world; however it's very debatable whether or not she achieved it. Nevertheless, Margaret Thatcher during her time as Prime Minister definitely raised the international profile of Britain, swiftly defeating the Argentineans in the Falklands war, resolving the issue in Southern Rhodesia without causing further conflict and played a role in the fall of Communism.However, because of her foreign policy Britain became isolated within Europe, in a time when Britain needed Europe for its economic benefits, splitting the party in the process. Moreover, Thatcher's relationship with Reagan was never on equal terms, such as the Invasion of Grenada and the permission of 160 cruise missiles. The war in the Falklands, while it caused domestic popularity, many countries saw it as a colonial war at a time when Britain should be decolonising and the continuous trade with South Africa caused criticism amongst the international community.While Britain's position in the world wasn't enhanced, Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy certainly raised the profile of Britain.
Before she became Prime Minister, Britain's status was in decline because of the process of decolonisation, defence cuts and the relationship with America. Margaret Thatcher's aim was to reverse the process of decline in which she did successfully.Her strong relationship with President Reagan raised the profile of Britain as she was seen with the strongest nation in the world, as a result, Britain became a key player in the fall of Communism, becoming the negotiator between the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan. When the collapse of the Berlin Wall signified the end of Communism in 1989, Britain was portrayed as being a crucial player, as Margaret Thatcher successfully negotiated with Gorbachev. In spite of this, without Gorbachev and his political views of democracy, Communism may still be prevalent.
Moreover, Margaret Thatcher successfully defended national interests, raising Britain's profile in the process. The war in the Falkland's, with the help of the Americans, was hailed a success and Margret Thatcher was considered a capable War leader, defending British land from Argentina. Southern Rhodesia also reinforced Thatcher's skill in diplomacy and successfully handled a fragile situation where she called a conference to stop the civil war. The outcome saw Mugabe and Nkomo accepting to stop the conflict and being able to participate in the next election which would be called the Lancaster House Agreement.
On the other hand, while Thatcher's foreign policies did raise the profile of Britain, none of them did enough to enhance Britain's position in the world and her tenure did not represent a turning point in British foreign policy. Moreover, many of the policies were ambiguous, and in some respects, damaging. Her antipathy towards European integration was evident in her Bruges speech in 1988 where she expressed her opposition to a federal structure, believing it was sociality and against her views.This opposition left Britain out of crucial decisions regarding Europe and ironically when she was forced by her party to join the ERM Britain struggled to stay within the 2. 25% threshold.
Furthermore, in November 1984, Thatcher permitted the installation of 160 cruise missiles at RAF Greenham Common which triggered nationwide protests by the CND and put Britain at more of a risk at a missile attack. Also, Thatcher was prepared to make deals with South Africa even though she tried persuading Botha to abandon apartheid.Even inviting Botha in 1984 to visit Britain, despite the hostility towards his regime expressed by many countries. In short, Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy didn't introduce anything radical in order to enhance Britain's position, while Britain's profile increased; Britain's international position never reached the same heights experienced after WW2 and the reputation of that of Winston Churchill, but Margaret Thatcher fundamentally carried on the same legacy left by previous leaders and didn't really change anything.