Foreign policy

In aid and development, Britain’s long-accumulated expertise is valuable to the EU

Britain has historically been a leader in development and humanitarian aid, with the EU amplifying the value of its links with the Commonwealth and its global influence. The fall in the value of the pound has already shrunk its budgets. Brexit will sever some of the links British aid experts have spent decades cultivating, writes Sebastian Steingass (University of […]

Watch: Karen Smith on what Brexit means for foreign policy

Karen Smith (LSE) argues that the EU membership has allowed Britain to punch above its weight in international affairs. So what are the three main implications of Brexit for UK foreign policy?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE.

Did the unfounded claim that Turkey was about to join the EU swing the referendum?

Even in 2016 – before Turkey’s latest turn towards authoritarianism – the chances of the country joining the EU before 2030 were remote. Yet this did not prevent Vote Leave from claiming towards the end of the referendum campaign that Turkey was poised to join. This unfounded claim, writes James Ker-Lindsay (LSE), played into voters’ existing worries about immigration. It […]

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    China is a crucial partner for Britain to prosper outside the EU

China is a crucial partner for Britain to prosper outside the EU

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s upcoming visit to Beijing is part of London’s efforts to build “Global Britain” by forging new trade partnerships beyond the EU. Yu Jie (LSE) says both sides have good reasons to want closer engagement in trade and investment, even though they remain poles apart politically. The Prime Minister should grasp the opportunities on her visit […]

When taking away one means division: what Brexit means for EU sanctions

When the UK leaves the EU, it will also lose access to its foreign and security policy institutions – and, of course, vice versa. Nicholas Wright (University College London) looks at what this will mean for one of the most effective weapons in the EU’s armoury of soft power: sanctions.

The UK’s foreign and security policy-focused departments have faced very […]

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    How Donald Trump’s populism may threaten the US-UK Special Relationship

How Donald Trump’s populism may threaten the US-UK Special Relationship

President Trump recently promoted the rhetoric of the far-right Britain First organization, which prompted an angry response from the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May. Ben Margulies writes that the transatlantic Twitter spat shows that Trump’s appeal to populism and anti-elitism may undermine the post-World War II liberal world order that the US-UK special relationship exemplifies.
At this stage, there might […]

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    Understanding the Brexit vote: the interplay between economic internationalisation and cultural openness

Understanding the Brexit vote: the interplay between economic internationalisation and cultural openness

The Leave vote prevailed in regions where local workers do not interact much with foreign cultures – yet some of these places rely on jobs created by foreign firms. If internationalisation in the workplace does not match internationalisation ‘at home’, pressure on local workers to opt out from further economic integration increases, write Riccardo Crescenzi (LSE) (left), Marco Di Cataldo (LSE), and Alessandra […]

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    What makes Britain ‘Great’? The end of the postwar consensus of liberal internationalism

What makes Britain ‘Great’? The end of the postwar consensus of liberal internationalism

The Leave and Remain campaigns defined British ‘greatness’ in very different ways. The referendum reflects more than attitudes toward EU membership — it  marks a new understanding of Britain’s role in the world, argues Benjamin Martill (LSE). The end of the postwar consensus of liberal internationalism has important implications and needs to be taken seriously.

The ‘Great’ in Great Britain is a geographical […]

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    The EU isn’t protectionist – it’s one of the most open economies in the world

The EU isn’t protectionist – it’s one of the most open economies in the world

US President Donald Trump recently criticised the EU for being protectionist, and several political figures in the UK have suggested that Brexit will allow the country to remove protectionist tariffs and regulations to boost trade. But how accurate is this claim in reality? Using data on various aspects of trade, Mark Manger and Atom Vayalinkal argue that the EU […]

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    The Irish border is not a technical issue but a political one

The Irish border is not a technical issue but a political one

At this stage of the exit negotiations, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is not a technical issue but a political one, argues Katy Hayward (Queen’s University Belfast). She explains exactly why the Northern Irish/Irish issue is a block preventing the Brexit talks from progressing, and provides suggestions on how to shift it.

It is quite clear from communications from the EU […]