Whether feared or longed for, Brexit day has arrived. It is positive for all sides that the process is thus far managed and ordered, with debts paid, rights guaranteed and borders still invisible on the island of Ireland. But in a difficult new phase of negotiations, as the UK and EU try to hammer out the terms of their relationship after 2020, Britain is at risk of repeating many of its mistakes from the withdrawal talks.
First, the government, through the negotiation timeline, has reduced its own room for manoeuvre. The failure of the initial withdrawal agreement and subsequent turbulent politics have reduced a planned 21-month transition to an 11-month one.… Seguir leyendo »
Theresa May’s prolonged attempt to negotiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has overshadowed an important, related discussion about the longer-term role of the UK in Europe after Brexit.
From the early 1960s, when the UK first sought entry to the European Economic Community, and since accession in 1973, successive British governments have wrestled with the agenda of the European economic and political integration project. However, across those decades, concerns with EEC/EC/EU issues never overwhelmed a broader British foreign policy for Europe. The UK remained focused on maintaining a leading role in the major political, economic and security issues faced by the continent.… Seguir leyendo »
The UK is not having the foreign policy debate that it desperately needs in this general election campaign. EU membership helped to shape the UK’s international priorities for more than 40 years, and Brexit will require the new government to think carefully about its role on the global stage. Yet, the party manifestos published this week do not spill much ink on broader ambitions for the UK. On the contrary, they suggest that Britain’s political parties have yet to figure out what British foreign policy should look like post-Brexit.
Theresa May, the prime minister, was the first to make reference to the UK’s international role post-Brexit in her Conservative Party conference speech in October last year.… Seguir leyendo »
Now that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that she will push for a second Scottish independence referendum, how do you think this will change UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to the Brexit negotiations?
I think what it means now is that Theresa May has a ‘two union’ problem to address. She has the problem, obviously, of the negotiations with the European Union which are just about to kick off, but she also now has the dual and interconnected problem of the union of the United Kingdom and holding that together. Which means that essentially she’s fighting a set of negotiations, or a political conflict, on two fronts.… Seguir leyendo »
The referendum outcome has presented the most formidable challenge to the UK’s place in the world since the end of the Second World War. The priority now must be to set out a clear roadmap for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The best way to safeguard its economic and political future on the world stage is to signal to the EU’s member states, and to Britain’s allies and partners outside Europe, that there is a sensible plan for a stable transition process from being a full EU member to a new relationship.
The least disruptive option now for the UK is to seek to agree a European Economic Area (EEA) relationship with the EU, prior to invoking Article 50.… Seguir leyendo »
If the UK votes to leave the EU, then 2016 becomes year zero for the UK’s relationship with its neighbours in Europe. And an exit from the EU also calls into question Britain’s broader role and position within international affairs and the global economy.
Since its accession in 1973 the UK has progressively enmeshed its economy and society with those of the other EU member states. The EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner accounting for 45 per cent of UK exports of goods and services, and 53 per cent of UK imports of goods and services. Membership of the EU has enhanced the UK’s international influence and amplified its national foreign and security policy objectives.… Seguir leyendo »
David Cameron meets with his fellow European heads of state and government on 18-19 February for what looks set to be the final set piece battle in his attempt to re-negotiate the terms of the UK’s EU membership. The end game of the negotiations is, however, the most dangerous moment for Prime Minister Cameron’s renegotiation strategy, as his new terms of EU membership have moved from speculation and hypotheticals to a set of concrete propositions.
To have what can be considered a successful European Council meeting Cameron will need to achieve four outcomes.
Reach an agreement
Crucially, and most obviously, he needs to reach a final agreement.… Seguir leyendo »