BFP Must-Reads 24.IV-30.IV UK-China, UK-EU, Brexit, Development Policies, Migration, Identity & FP
Two big issues this week in British foreign policy. First, the Foreign Secretary set out HMG's view of the future of UK-China relations. It provoked accusations and debates accusing Cleverly of being naive through to asking if this could stop a cold war with China. Second, the usual debate about the future of UK-EU relations revolved this past week around two debates: the need for a Brexit inquiry, and several reports on how to rebuild relations going forward. Very much in the shadow of Cleverly's Mansion House speech was a speech to Chatham House by Andrew Mitchell in which he set out his vision for the UK's international development policies. There was also some interesting analysis on the UK's migration numbers, and the power of national identity to shape (or not) global views.
UK-China ~ FCDO: Our position on China: Foreign Secretary's 2023 Mansion House speech. Speaking at Mansion House in the City of London, the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly outlined the UK government's position on China.
UK-China ~ Chatham House: Bronwen Maddox - Cleverly’s calculation makes ambivalence a clear policy. The UK foreign secretary recognizes the need to talk to China while protecting UK interests, but also shows a desire to provide better clarity on relations.
UK-China ~ Spectator: Cindy Wu — Could the UK’s new China policy prevent a second cold war?
Brexit Inquiry ~ BBC News — Brexit: MPs call for public inquiry into impact of leaving EU. MPs have urged the UK government to launch a public inquiry to assess the effects of Brexit in a parliamentary debate triggered by a petition. You can read the petition here and the Westminster hall debate here.
Brexit Inquiry ~ New Statesman: John Elledge — Why a Brexit inquiry would be ideal but impossible. A Tory government will never admit it has impoverished our country.
Brexit ~ FT: George Parker and Peter Foster — UK government set to U-turn on plan to scrap or revise all EU law. Fury among Eurosceptics over news that large sections of Brussels legislation will stay on statute books.
Brexit ~ Bloomberg: Alex Wickham — Sunak Wants EU Passport Checks Deal After Post-Brexit Chaos. Border delays counter government narrative on divorce benefits. Premier wants deal to let Britons use EU’s passport e-gates.
Future of UK-EU relations ~ House of Lords European Affairs Committee — Lords Committee calls for UK-EU relations reset after years of tension and mistrust. The report examines the overarching state of the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and EU, and how this might be developed in the future, across four themes: The overall political, diplomatic and institutional relationship; the foreign policy, defence and security relationship; energy security and climate change; and mobility of people. After years of tension and mistrust, recommendations focus on actions to be taken as a priority as part of a reset of UK-EU relations following the recent agreement of the Windsor Framework.
Future of UK-EU relations ~ CER: Luigi Scazzieri — Can the European Political Community be a Bridge Between the UK and the EU? This policy brief is the first of a three paper CER/KAS project, “Shared Values, Common Challenges - UK European Security Co-operation after the War in Ukraine.” This paper focuses on the European Political Community, while the other two will focus on defence capabilities and China policy respectively.
Future of UK-EU relations ~ The Atlantic Council: Jörn flex and Ben Judah — How the EU and UK can start to collaborate in a post-Brexit world. The London ambassadors from European Union (EU) member states are decamping this weekend to the south coast of England to think through the EU’s post-Brexit relationship with the United Kingdom. The meeting is a welcome sign of warming relations but can only be the start. As ambassadors swap their oxfords for Wellingtons, they must consider bold approaches to rebuild the EU-UK relationship.
International Development ~ Chatham House: Can rhetoric match reality? Britain’s international development future. In conversation with Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Also piece in The Times: We will spend £1bn on humanitarian relief — but must go further, by Andrew Mitchell -
Migration ~ The Sunday Times: Robert Colvile — Britain’s legal migration numbers matter more than small boats.
England and Scotland ~ The National: David Pratt — Are Scottish and English attitudes to foreign policy that different?
National identity ~ Bloomberg: Adrian Woolridge — The Prophet of 21st Century National Identity. Three years after his death, the conservative English thinker Roger Scruton is exercising extraordinary global influence.