BFP10: 13.2-19.2 A more United Kingdom Foreign Policy?
Here are my British Foreign Policy 10 from the week when news that Nicola Sturgeon is standing down as leader of the SNP and Scotland's First Minister eased concerns that the days of a United Kingdom foreign policy could soon be over: 10 of the best reports, podcasts, twitter threads speeches etc. that I’ve added to my Zotero database this past week.
Scotland—IFG: How will Nicola Sturgeon be replaced as Scotland's first minister? The SNP will now elect her successor as party leader, who is then expected to be formally appointed as first minister.
Ukraine—BFPG: Why is Britain so strongly behind Ukraine? Does it matter? As Vladimir Putin continues to discover to his cost, the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been far stronger than anyone anticipated and has so far shown little sign of fading. Of Western players, the UK has been a stand-out ally to Ukraine. The UK’s material contribution is second only to that of the US. And, beyond Ukraine’s immediate neighbours (and potentially Russia’s next victims) Poland and the Baltic states, elite and public opinion in the UK has been most strongly supportive of the people and the armed forces of Ukraine. The question here is not whether it’s right to support Ukraine, but why the UK is doing so strongly and unquestioningly.
Defence—FT: UK defence secretary braced for ‘uphill battle’ with Treasury on military spend. Ben Wallace to argue for extra funding ‘because the world is much more dangerous and unstable’
UK-France—Chatham House: A new momentum grows for UK-France defence cooperation. Both London and Paris appear committed to making the 10 March summit a success by relaunching a positive agenda for bilateral cooperation on a range of issues.
Brexit—UKICE: Will we see a closer UK-EU relationship in the long term? David Hayward responds to a recent UK in a Changing Europe report on the future of UK-EU relations, asking whether we might see a closer relationship with the EU over the longer term.
Brexit—Economist: The Brexit Re-enactment Society. By threatening to rip up EU law, Parliament is reliving past blunders.
London—FT: More risk, fewer rules: the plan to revive the City of London. Ministers and financiers hope ‘Big Bang 2.0’ can be a blueprint for the post-Brexit era. But will its equity markets ever attract big tech companies?
Indo-Pacific—Bloomberg: US Seeks Critical-Minerals Pacts with Japan, UK to Counter China. Deals would open eligibility to Inflation Reduction Act perks. US wants new critical mineral buyers club, officials say.
Indo-Pacific: RUSI: How Labour Can Reform, Rather Than Do Away With, the UK’s Indo-Pacific Tilt. In his recent speech at RUSI, UK Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey set out Labour’s outlook on defence policy. According to Healey, the ‘Indo-Pacific Tilt’ was not just a mistake, but a ‘serious flaw’ of the 2021 Integrated Review. Against the backdrop of a forthcoming refresh of the Review and a general election due by 2025, Labour has started to make the case for how it would approach matters differently. However, rather than dismiss the Tilt, Labour has an opportunity to build on the foundations laid by the current government.
Taiwan—Bloomberg: Britain Wargames a Crash Far Worse Than Covid If Chip Supplies Are Shut Off. Everything from energy security to medical treatment would be at risk — and Brexit has left the UK with fewer options than other western countries.