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Foreign Policy & Security Blogs
Last week, Chuka Umunna spoke to Chatham House in a much-needed intervention on the state of British foreign policy.
In recent years, the British foreign policy debate has not kept up with the pace of global political and economic change. For that reason alone, there was much to commend in Umunna’s sense of urgency. To adapt to the challenges of the twenty-first century, as he put it, “we need to look ahead and develop a proper national strategy on the basis of a clear understanding of what our interests are”.
Dr Ray Bassett, Senior Fellow on EU Affairs at Policy Exchange and a former senior Irish ambassador takes a look at the Brexit discussions around the Common Travel Area (CTA). Despite the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, the UK Government continues to maintain a constructive and sensible attitude to the CTA, which should reassure British and Irish citizens living and working in those respective countries – who should be more concerned about the “glib” attitude for EU negotiators on the CTA and the border.
National Security Fellow Gabriel Elefteriu responds to the launch of the Government’s new paper on UK-EU security and defence cooperation after Brexit. The paper is a welcome starting point in efforts to improve the “mood music”, given recent acrimony in Brexit negotiations. It is right to stress areas of common interest with the EU27 and the UK’s vital role in European security, which is likely to continue for many years. However, there are still questions to answer about the proposed “deep and special relationship” with the EU, and how this is to be squared with renewed efforts to reinvigorate the NATO alliance.
Policy Exchange Director Dean Godson looks at the government’s renewed emphasis on Islamist extremism in the wake of the Borough attacks – and notes Theresa May’s focus on ideology as the “upstream” source of much of the problem. The Government’s task now is to ensure that its policy on counter-extremism is implemented throughout the public sector – which, as all Prime Ministers have found since 7/7, is easier said than done
Germans have elections, too. It was at a campaign event in Bavaria that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, made a statement that has been interpreted as having grave implications for the cohesiveness of the Euro-Atlantic alliance. “The times in which we could...
John Bew — Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project — argues that as the world changes around us, Britain needs a serious debate about what constitutes its national interest that goes beyond the Brexit negotiations
Last week’s attack in Manchester confirms that jihadist terrorism poses the greatest threat to British national security. Much of what has emerged so far about the bomber, Salman Abedi, fits a typical profile: a man in his 20s, raised in an immigrant family in the UK...
Manchester attack brings renewed prominence to debate around Britain’s counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent
Last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester has brought renewed prominence to the debate around Britain’s counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent. A concerted campaign to discredit Prevent has seeped into both elements of the public sector and prevailing thinking on the political left. The success of the ‘Preventing Prevent’ campaign, however, depends on a misunderstanding of the distinction between theology and ideology as well as the radicalising impact of an Islamist ideology, one to which many of the strategy’s most prominent detractors adhere. Understanding the anti-Prevent campaign is one way in which the authorities can more effectively disrupt extremists – a fundamental component of counter-terrorism work.
Writing for Policy Exchange, Richard Walton — former Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command — dissects recent statements that Brexit has left Britain more vulnerable to terrorism. Contrary to claims by his former colleague Sir Hugh Orde and the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Walton observes that international bodies such as Interpol and Europol are far less important to “upstream” international CT investigations than bilateral collaboration between nations. Walton’s analysis for Policy exchange featured on the Today programme and in The Sun.
Writing in The Telegraph, Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project, argues that defence should be at the forefront of the election campaign