Britain In The World
Beware excessive “declinism” – we’re putting more money into UK defence but American warnings must also be heeded
Policy Exchange’s Gabriel Elefteriu warns that we should beware the declinist narrative that too often pervades discussion of UK defence capability. He cautions this can too often verge on a self-fulfilling prophesy and we should acknowledge that the Government is now increasing defence spending. Equally, it is important that American warnings are headed, particularly on the retention of specific capabilities.
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”.
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.
Britain in the World Research Fellow Gabriel Elefteriu discusses further implications of the North Korea crisis, noting that there is “no historical precedent for the present crisis, and attempting to apply ‘lessons’ from the past is extremely dangerous in these circumstances.” War “could be catastrophic in material and geopolitical terms, with incalculable evolutions and consequences” but the crisis is likely to force the US to devote even more resources to the Pacific, with consequences for its strategic posture in other parts of the world.
Ray Bassett – Policy Exchange’s Senior Fellow on EU Affairs – argues that the economic interests of Ireland are more closely aligned with the UK than the EU. As such Ireland should consider leaving the EU too.
US House of Representatives reaffirms bipartisan commitment to NATO’s Article 5: Could the UK Parliament follow suit?
John Bew and Gabriel Elefteriu of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project reflect on President Trump’s firmest yet statement on Article 5 — NATO’s collective-defence clause which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on all. They point out that this is a commitment that has been made after lengthy manoeuvrings both within the Administration and on Capitol Hill; and conclude by asking whether a similar resolution might pass the House of Commons.
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
John Bew — Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project — reflects on Jeremy Corbyn’s recent Chatham House speech, and how the Labour leader is not part of the ‘noble tradition of liberal internationalism [that] has pumped blood to the heart of the Labour Party since its foundation and is an essential part of the Labour story’.
Lord Bew of Donegore, of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly and one of the leading historians of Ireland, takes on the fashionable notion on both sides of the Border – especially in the Republic – that Brexit is an historic crime perpetrated by a nationalistic British electorate that has set in train an inevitable drift towards Irish unity.