Britain In The World

A Policy Exchange Project
Commonwealth flag

Commonwealth Summit – A new opportunity for an old institution?

Does the presence of an Indian Prime Minister after several years of absence, Brexit and a return to great power politics offer a new role for the Commonwealth?
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NATO

The collective action to Russia was in part a result of the UK’s firm unilateral response

Policy Exchange's Professor John Bew, whose essay on the Skripal affair was discussed on the Today programme, argues that the UK's initial response to Russian aggression paved the way to wider, collective action.
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The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

An American perspective on Pesco: The dangers of de-linking EU defence from NATO

US Army officer T.S. Allen discusses the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco) at last month’s European Council summit. While there may be benefits in terms of improvements in capabilities, there is a danger that Pesco represents a trend towards de-linking European defence from NATO in search of EU 'strategic autonomy’.
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Washington Conference

The new US National Security Strategy: implications for UK National Security Policy

Reviewing Lt Gen McMaster’s keynote speech at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference, Professor John Bew highlights how the new American National Security Strategy will refocus on ‘competitive engagement’, providing support for friendly countries on America’s security frontier while requesting greater ‘reciprocity’ from US allies. Professor Bew also suggests how this should be interpreted by the UK’s ongoing Capability Review.
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Ireland and Northern Ireland map

Perspectives on the Irish Border and Brexit negotiations

Two of Policy Exchange’s leading experts on Irish Affairs, former Irish diplomat Ray Bassett and former Special Adviser to the First Minister of Northern Ireland Dr Graham Gudgin, evaluate the Stage 1 Brexit Agreement published last week. Although welcome progress has been made, key issues remain outstanding and have the capacity to present difficultly if not resolved.
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HMS Queen Elizabeth

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.
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NATO

The return of the internationalists? Unpacking Labour’s position on foreign policy.

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”.
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DExEU’s paper on post-Brexit UK-EU security and defence cooperation: a question of influence

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.
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After the North Korean crisis

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.
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The EU is becoming less hospitable for Ireland – it’s time it joined Britain in leaving

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.
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Latest Publications

UK Strategy in Asia: some starting principles

UK Strategy in Asia: some starting principles

Following the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan last week, Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project publish a report by unit head John Bew and David Martin Jones, Visiting Fellow at Policy Exchange. They advise that Asia is of growing strategic importance to the UK’s long-term prosperity but this is likely to mean more involvement in the region’s security problems. The first principle of UK involvement in Asia must be to bolster existing alliances and to preserve the existing international order, but it must be understood that this is likely to cause tension when it comes to relations with China.

Foreign Policy and National Security in the New Parliament

Foreign Policy and National Security in the New Parliament

In a new report published last week, Policy Exchange stresses the vital role of Parliament in shaping debates about Britain’s place in the world, and urges the building of greater cross-party consensus on foreign policy. It stresses the role of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committee in the context of a hung Parliament. The report was published alongside a new database of MPs’ voting records on key issues of national security since 2010, as well as their constituency positions on Brexit — the most detailed resource of its kind ever created. In a Foreword to the report, Tom Tugendhat MP, the new Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said, ‘Policy Exchange is at the forefront of new thinking about national security and the UK’s place in the world’. The report was covered in The Daily Mail.

After Brexit: Will Ireland be next to exit?

After Brexit: Will Ireland be next to exit?

In a flagship new report for Policy Exchange, former senior Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett argues that a failure to reach a benign compromise between the EU and the UK in Brexit negotiations risks seriously damaging the Irish economy. So far, the Irish Government has sided firmly with the EU27, but Bassett believes this may be a mistake given how intimately the Irish and British economies are connected. In the event of the UK leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, Ireland may be forced to follow suit, potentially even seeking its own “Irexit”.

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Latest Blogs

The new US National Security Strategy: implications for UK National Security Policy

The new US National Security Strategy: implications for UK National Security Policy

Reviewing Lt Gen McMaster’s keynote speech at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference, Professor John Bew highlights how the new American National Security Strategy will refocus on ‘competitive engagement’, providing support for friendly countries on America’s security frontier while requesting greater ‘reciprocity’ from US allies. Professor Bew also suggests how this should be interpreted by the UK’s ongoing Capability Review.

Perspectives on the Irish Border and Brexit negotiations

Perspectives on the Irish Border and Brexit negotiations

Two of Policy Exchange’s leading experts on Irish Affairs, former Irish diplomat Ray Bassett and former Special Adviser to the First Minister of Northern Ireland Dr Graham Gudgin, evaluate the Stage 1 Brexit Agreement published last week. Although welcome progress has been made, key issues remain outstanding and have the capacity to present difficultly if not resolved.

Beware excessive “declinism” – we’re putting more money into UK defence but American warnings must also be heeded

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.

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Latest News

Policy Exchange’s Professor John Bew named as Specialist Adviser to Commons Foreign Affairs Committee as it announces new inquiry into Global Britain

Policy Exchange’s Professor John Bew named as Specialist Adviser to Commons Foreign Affairs Committee as it announces new inquiry into Global Britain

Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project, has been named as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. He will assist the Committee in its recently launched inquiry into “Global Britain”. To mark the appointment, Policy Exchange has produced a reading list of essential texts for anyone interested in Global Britain.

Policy Exchange report cited in HuffPost blog on atrocities

Policy Exchange report cited in HuffPost blog on atrocities

A year on from its publication and as Holocaust Memorial Day approaches, Policy Exchange’s report The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities has featured in a HuffPost blog considering whether, and how, the UK should improve its record of interventions overseas.

North Korea – Is there a military option?

North Korea – Is there a military option?

Leading South Korean General I-B Chun – former head of Korea’s Special Warfare Command – considered whether there is a military solution to the North Korean threat in an event at Policy Exchange. Chun warned that the North’s nuclear capability is not only directed at the United States; that we should all be worried about their cyber capability, indoctrination of children, that China would prefer a nuclear North Korea to a US-influenced state on its border. But he added: “I truly believe that my system of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights is far more powerful than any North Korean nuclear weapon.”

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Latest Events

The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities

The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities

Jan 26, 2017

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown launches Policy Exchange’s ‘The Cost of Doing Nothing’ report, which was started with Jo Cox, who believed ‘Britain must lead again’. Also joining us for this event, which was held at Policy Exchange on 26 January were Former Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Lord Hague (via recorded video message), Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling and Professor John Bew, head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project

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