BFP10:19.9~25.9 His Majesty’s Government announces…
Yet another momentous week in British politics and foreign policy. The Queen’s State Funeral on Monday captured the world’s attention. It brought with it yet more reflections on what the end of her reign and the start of that of King Charles III mean for the UK and the Commonwealth. Then politics quickly returned to normal, first with the UNGA and then a ‘mini-budget’ that was anything but mini given the scale change it heralds for both the UK’s political economy and place in the world. I expect to cover more on that next week.
Here then are my British Foreign Policy 10 from the week of the Queen’s State Funeral: 10 of the best reports, podcasts, twitter threads speeches etc. that I’ve added to my Zotero database this past week:
Ben Judah in the Washington Post is optimistic about what King Charles will mean for both Britain and its foreign policy. He sees in the king a man comfortable with multiculturalism, prepared to face Britain’s imperial past and whose long-standing environmentalism puts him on the right side of history.
Professor Christopher Phillips discusses how the new king presents British foreign policy with a series of opportunities and challenges, especially in those realms of the Commonwealth where he now reigns as king.
Did the late Queen regret Brexit? Many might remember the ‘EU hat’ she wore to the 2017 State Opening of Parliament, which some took as a sign of her regret at the outcome of the vote. The Independent now reports that German diplomats think she did indeed think it a mistake.
In The New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner discusses with Professor David Edgerton and writer Nesrine Malik whether the UK focuses too much or too little on its imperial past. This is another good piece on the topic prompted by the Queen’s death.
A potential flashpoint between a king long renowned for his environmentalism and his new prime minister could be over government plans to scrap lots of EU environmental regulations as part of a post-Brexit bonfire of regulations. And as Politico reports, its not just plans to scrap environmental regulations that are causing concern with business leaders also warning of unnecessary uncertainty.
Truss’s speech to the UNGA gave some insights into what she sees as the future of both the UK and of British foreign policy. Esther Webber, reporting on the speech for Politico, notes that compared to her predecessor Truss has a clearer sense of direction on foreign policy. She also has a clearer approach to making foreign policy because compared to Johnson she is ‘much less prone to unscripted brouhaha’.
Negotiations over a US-UK trade deal are going nowhere, which will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody familiar with the negotiations. The Guardian reports that Liz Truss has admitted there is no hope of any such deal anytime soon.
One obstacle, but by no means the only one, to a UK-US trade deal is the situation with the Northern Ireland Protocol. According to The Guardian the fate of the protocol is also overshadowing a planned State Visit next year to the UK by President Biden.
On Twitter, Sunder Katwala notes that the British Social Attitudes survey, the latest data of which was released this week, shows more evidence that the British people increasingly see migration in a positive way.
And finally… it’s reported that King Charles plans to make France the destination of his first State Visit. If so it could very well be thanks to the warm messages and heartfelt gestures President Macron sent to the royal family and the UK following the Queen’s death. ‘Merci Votre Majesté’