Reino Unido

La llamada a consultas de un embajador representa el intento de reaccionar a un cambio estratégico del siglo XXI con la diplomacia del siglo XIX. Resoplando no se consigue nada. Pero Francia tiene razón en una cosa: la alianza nuclear submarina Aukus entre Estados Unidos, Australia y Reino Unido tendrá consecuencias a largo plazo para la OTAN. La Organización no se disolverá, pero desempeñará un papel más periférico en el futuro. Desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial hasta la pasada década, la política exterior y de seguridad de Estados Unidos estuvo centrada en Europa y Oriente Próximo. Con los presidentes Donald Trump y Joe Biden se desplazó al Indo-Pacífico.…  Seguir leyendo »

Former interpreters for the US and Nato forces during a demonstration in Kabul at the start of the formal US troop withdrawal in May 2021. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

The plight of hundreds of Afghan interpreters who have served alongside British forces over the past 20 years is becoming increasingly desperate. They are hunted by a resurgent Taliban. They are executed for “collaboration”. They are ignored by a Home Office refusing to grant many of them a right of resettlement. Our national failure to acknowledge our obligation to these men and their families is a moral catastrophe. In putting things right, we might begin to rescue not only them, but also ourselves.

To the bureaucrats in government, the interpreters are not soldiers. They are mere civilian contractors, easily let go at the end of a job.…  Seguir leyendo »

A vueltas con el nuevo desafío escocés uno piensa en la ironía que tiene que en un país cuyo nombre oficial incluye el adjetivo “unido”, el concepto de unidad nacional no exista como tal. En el Reino Unido, paradójicamente, el concepto de la Unión se disuelve felizmente en centurias de inveterado pragmatismo inglés, tan renuente a definir conceptos y más cómodo desarrollando su vida política según sus usos y costumbres. La noción de unidad nacional —de honda raigambre jacobina y por ello ajena al sentir inglés— es desconocida en la isla británica.

Al inglés nunca se le ocurrió codificar en qué consiste la Unión y ni siquiera hay un momento fundacional de la Unión pues ha sido un proceso de incorporación gradual.…  Seguir leyendo »

Giant digital mural in Trafford Park, Manchester supporting England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka who were targeted with racist abuse online after the Euro 2020 final. Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images.

The ugly online abuse targeted at members of the England football team following the Euros final, and then at Lewis Hamilton after the British Grand Prix, was not only hateful to the individuals concerned, but divisive for the UK more broadly.

More needs to be done to regulate online platforms to avoid the spread of such abuse at scale. Online platforms are making increasing efforts to ‘self-regulate’ in order to tackle online abuse. Over the past year, Facebook and Twitter have strengthened their policies on hateful speech and conduct, such as Facebook’s policy banning Holocaust denial. Both have become more vigilant at deplatforming those who violate their terms of service, such as Donald Trump, and at removing online abuse using a combination of machines and humans.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators scuffled with the police during an anti-lockdown demonstration in London’s Parliament Square on Monday. Credit Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA, via Shutterstock

England, we are told, is free. On Monday the government lifted the country’s remaining Covid restrictions — on social distancing, on face masks, on numbers for gatherings, the lot — effectively leaving protection from the coronavirus to vaccinations and, er, the goddess of chance. (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the devolved nations, have sensibly chosen to retain some restrictions.)

The timing was immaculate: Over the previous week, 332,170 people tested positive for the coronavirus — the most since January — as the Delta variant courses around the country. New Covid-19 cases are expected to rise, perhaps reaching the dizzying figure of 100,000 a day later in the summer.…  Seguir leyendo »

Peñón de Gibraltar. Foto: Pavol Svantner

Tema

En esta serie de dos análisis se estudia la presencia de la UE como actor en las cuestiones territoriales y controversias en el área del Estrecho, así como las opciones estratégicas de España. Este segundo análisis pone el foco en Gibraltar, mientras que el primero se centra en Ceuta, Melilla y Marruecos.

Resumen

La crisis migratoria de Ceuta de mayo de 2021 y las reclamaciones de Marruecos sobre el Sáhara Occidental y las ciudades de Ceuta y Melilla ponen de relieve la compleja situación del área del Estrecho para la política exterior española. A ello se une la problemática de Gibraltar que, tras el Brexit, busca su acomodo en la UE para un nuevo estatuto y relación con España.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the Big Euro 2020 Game, I Knew the England I Was Rooting For

It is an odd thing, to watch your country of birth from afar. Having been in Germany for seven years, I sometimes feel the connection to England with an even greater intensity than I did when I was living there. I find myself being more passionate about its politics — and, of course, its football.

This sense has been all the more pronounced over the past month, as I’ve watched the English national team proceed through the Euro 2020 tournament, a continentwide championship whose final will be played today between England and Italy. England’s men’s team has never reached this stage before, and it would be an understatement to say that people are excited.…  Seguir leyendo »

Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel leaves 10 Downing street in central London on June 24. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

Last August, the British government deported a 38-year-old Sudanese man to France, just over two months after he arrived in Britain seeking asylum, leaving him homeless and destitute. He claims he was tortured and trafficked en route to Europe from Libya, but because he was put through a rushed asylum process (known as a shortened asylum screening interview), this was reportedly not investigated.

This week, on the very same day a judge ordered he be returned to Britain, Home Secretary Priti Patel introduced a new bill to Parliament that would likely entrench this draconian and punitive system.

These plans are a mix of existing, possibly unworkable and chillingly restrictive rules.…  Seguir leyendo »

Reino Unido y la Unión Europea: dos uniones debilitadas y enfrentadas tras el Brexit

Cinco años después del fatídico referéndum celebrado el 23 de junio de 2016, ¿qué balance se puede hacer del Brexit? Respuesta: dos uniones debilitadas, el Reino Unido y la Unión Europea, y unas relaciones airadas entre ambas.

El debilitamiento del Reino Unido es palpable. En los próximos años habrá otro referéndum sobre la independencia de Escocia. Es posible que lo ganen los nacionalistas escoceses, con el argumento de que Escocia necesita dejar la unión con Inglaterra para reincorporarse a la UE. La celebración de una consulta en Irlanda del Norte sobre la posible unificación de Irlanda parece más probable que nunca desde que se incluyó la posibilidad en el Acuerdo de Belfast de 1998.…  Seguir leyendo »

British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender in the port of Odessa on Ukraine's Black Sea coast. Photo by Konstantin Sazonchik\TASS via Getty Images.

HMS Defender entered the Black Sea knowing it would be an eventful visit. Between friendly port stops in Ukraine and Georgia, passing by the tense region of Russian-occupied Crimea was bound to be a serious business.

Moscow likes to claim that foreign ships or aircraft in its vicinity change course and retreat when challenged by Russian forces. It is usually a fiction, but Russia needs to tell its people two stories – that it is under threat from a dangerous, aggressive West, but also that Russia itself is strong and can protect itself and see off unwelcome intruders.

This leads it not only to carry out aggressive and dangerous manoeuvres close to Western aircraft and ships on and above the seas around Russia, but also to concoct fanciful stories about the supposed power and reach of Russian weapons, including in the Black Sea.…  Seguir leyendo »

The UK prime minister Boris Johnson receives his second jab of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by MATT DUNHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

The last time Boris Johnson held centre stage with the world’s media was when he was filmed trapped on that zip wire, waving union flags while promoting the London 2012 Olympics. That stunt and his rousing pre-games speech were generally deemed a public relations triumph, capturing the hopeful spirit of recovering from the global financial crash.

But the world is a very different place in 2021 – millions have died in the worst health crisis in more than a century, the global economy is in turmoil, and this year’s Olympics are still under question. So, as Boris Johnson welcomes G7 leaders to Cornwall, what the world needs now is not Flash Boris Johnson the showman, but instead Flash Boris Johnson the superhero who will help save the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and President Biden in Cornwall, England, on Thursday. Despite all the havoc Mr. Johnson’s Conservatives have caused, the party is in a stronger position than ever. Credit Pool photo by Toby Melville

Boris Johnson, Britain’s freewheeling, clownish prime minister, is about to play host.

On June 11, the day after a private meeting with President Biden, Mr. Johnson is scheduled to welcome other Group of 7 leaders to Cornwall, on the southwestern coast of England, to discuss climate change, the global pandemic recovery and the retreat of liberal democracy around the world.

Yet Mr. Johnson may have other things on his mind. Over the past few months, a series of scandals and allegations has put the prime minister under unusual pressure. There have been accusations of corruption, reports of bitter rivalries on his closest team and, to top it off, explosive testimony from his former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, that laid responsibility for the handling of the pandemic in Britain — where over 125,000 people have died of Covid-19 — squarely at Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un Reino Unido más global

Hace tiempo que los escépticos sostienen que el Reino Unido ya pasó de su mejor momento y hoy sólo le quedan las glorias pasadas. Señalan las calificaciones mediocres que obtiene el país en las pruebas educativas PISA de la OCDE, el hecho de que hay una sola empresa británica (HSBC) entre las 50 corporaciones más grandes del mundo (Alemania tiene cuatro) y la probabilidad de que el Brexit termine debilitando la posición internacional del RU en vez de fortalecerla.

Pero yo no comparto ese juicio. Al fin y al cabo, el RU pertenece a la reducida nómina de países que fueron capaces de producir una vacuna eficaz contra la COVID‑19 en tiempo récord.…  Seguir leyendo »

Thousands of people attend an emergency rally in solidarity with the Palestinian people outside Downing Street, on 11 May 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images.

Statements by UK officials during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas did little to inspire confidence among Arab partners and their publics, most of whom expected Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to do more than reach for worn-out idioms. There is a growing expectation that as Global Britain emerges from the shadows of the EU and seeks to deepen economic ties and sign trade deals, especially with partners old and new, it will also develop a more robust foreign policy.

However, in the case of the Israel-Hamas conflict, it left many partners feeling disappointed – even disillusioned – as it offered nothing new.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un Brexit Post-Mortem para la City

Casi cinco años después del referendo del Brexit, y en los cinco meses que transcurrieron desde el propio Brexit, el debate sobre el futuro de la City, el centro financiero de Londres, ha quedado relegado a un diálogo de sordos. Quienes votaron en junio de 2016 a favor de abandonar la Unión Europea creen, más allá de la evidencia que demuestre lo contrario, que el impacto será mínimo, y que las advertencias de pérdidas de empleos y traslado de empresas son exageradas. Los que votaron a favor de quedarse están programados para pensar lo contrario y, más allá de la evidencia que demuestre lo contrario, pronostican desolación y miseria.…  Seguir leyendo »

La disolución del Reino Unido

Los comicios municipales parciales y regionales que se acaban de celebrar en el Reino Unido se encuentran entre las citas electorales más importantes que se han llevado a cabo en la historia reciente del país. Y también entre las más dramáticas. El mismo jueves, día de las votaciones, los ciudadanos se despertaron con la noticia de que el Gobierno de Boris Johnson había enviado dos patrulleras de la Marina a las islas del Canal, bajo soberanía de la Corona británica, donde un conflicto con Francia por los derechos de pesca en esas aguas amenazaba con estallar en un episodio de violencia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Political trends in the United States and Britain have mirrored one another for decades, so the Labour Party’s stunning collapse across blue-collar England in last Thursday’s local elections is a clear warning sign for President Biden and Democrats. A full analysis gives Democrats signs of hope but also shows how difficult it will be to build a durable Democratic coalition.

The headline results were a disaster for Labour leader Keir Starmer. The party lost the parliamentary constituency of Hartlepool by a whopping 23 points. The seat resides in a working-class area that Britain’s Conservative Party had never won previously and that had once been occupied by Peter Mandelson, the Labour politician who served as former prime minister Tony Blair’s spin doctor.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the end the lies about the US-led war in Afghanistan were bookended with -- even dominated by -- basic truths.

The lies themselves were not malicious -- more the deceit needed for survival. The things America had to tell itself to keep going. The truths were self-evident: that Osama Bin Laden had been given shelter by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban and was behind 9/11. And in the end, there was another, which it took a man with wisdom accumulated over 78 years to finally admit. "No one wants to say that we should be in Afghanistan forever, but they insist now is not the right moment to leave," said President Joe Biden as he announced that he was overruling his advisers and would withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year.…  Seguir leyendo »

Es probable que Mahatma Gandhi jamás haya dicho que «la grandeza de una nación puede juzgarse por el trato que da a los más débiles». Pero no por eso la frase es menos cierta. Y hoy, el Reino Unido corre riesgo de no pasar el examen.

Según la Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 14,5 millones de personas (el 22% de la población del RU, de 65 millones) viven debajo de la «línea de pobreza» (que se define como ganar menos del 60% de la mediana de ingresos). De los 42 millones que forman la población en edad de trabajar, unos cinco o seis millones de personas (es decir, alrededor del 12%) están desempleadas o subempleadas (quisieran trabajar más y no pueden).…  Seguir leyendo »

Una pintada contra la UE en Belfast, Irlanda del Norte.Peter Morrison / AP

El colapso del comercio entre Reino Unido y la Unión Europea tras el 1 de enero hizo correr ríos de tinta. De lo que no se ha informado tanto es de que las exportaciones del primero se han recuperado por completo. En febrero habían aumentado un 46,6% después de haber caído un 42% el mes anterior. Las importaciones todavía no. En febrero habían recuperado un 7,3% tras una caída del 29,7% en enero. Me alegra pronosticar que pronto se recuperarán también. Lo que estas y otras cifras nos dicen es que incluso esta parte de las historias de terror sobre el Brexit va a hacerse realidad.…  Seguir leyendo »