It’s been just over a year since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, and the future of the transatlantic relationship is as uncertain as ever. According to Lisa ten Brinke, Research Associate at the LSE’s Dahrendorf Forum, the rift between the EU and the US began before Trump entered the Oval Office, and this is not likely to change any time soon. This article was originally featured on the Dahrendorf Forum site and is reposted with permission.
On January 20th 2017, the world watched as Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. In Europe, his inauguration signalled the beginning of an insecure and unpredictable time for the transatlantic relationship. As Trump promised to put ‘America First’ and called NATO ‘obsolete’, politicians, journalists, and citizens on both sides of the Atlantic feared for the future of US-European relations.
In a new EI Working Paper titled ‘Brexit and the Re-Making of British Foreign Policy’, Nicholas Wright analyses the challenges Brexit will pose to British foreign policy-makers and institutions, the future of UK-EU relations, and the impact of Brexit on UK engagement with the multilateral system. The paper also shows how the UK government can mitigate the risk of a significant loss of international influence. In this blog entry, Dr Wright highlights the key findings of the paper.
Since the end of the Second World War, the UK has been a multilateral power par excellence, directly contributing to the construction and expansion of many of the most important institutions of international governance, and championing a rules-based international system. In the 2015 National Security Strategy, for example, the maintenance of this system was identified as a core British national interest, contributing to the UK’s capacity to ‘punch above its weight’ in international affairs.
However, although Brexit entails the UK’s departure from a major component of this system, the consequences for British foreign policy remain under-examined in public debates. A number of challenges need to be addressed.
The Leave and Remain campaigns defined British ‘Greatness’ in very different ways. The referendum reflects more than attitudes toward EU membership — it marks a new understanding of Britain’s role in the world, as Benjamin Martill, Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE, argues in this piece. The end of the postwar consensus of liberal internationalism has important implications and needs to be taken seriously.
The ‘Great’ in Great Britain is a geographical term identifying it as the larger of the two Britains – the other being Brittany in France, once known as Britannia minor. But this is not the way many Brits interpret the term. For greatness has also become a political category, referring not to British territory but to its venerable national attributes and its reputation on the international stage. What, we are often asked, makes Britain ‘great’? Continue reading
Responding to Theresa May’s long-awaited Brexit speech on Tuesday 17th January, Benjamin Martill, Research Associate at the UCL European Institute, argues that the speech must be understood as an aspiration, rather than a roadmap, since its realisation requires the consent of other parties and the removal of important contradictions.
In her long-awaited ‘Brexit speech’, Theresa May set out a comprehensive vision for the future of Britain in a post-Brexit world, envisioning a “great global trading nation” abroad and a fairer, more egalitarian society domestically. This new Britain, May argued, will be fully outside the EU, echoing her earlier sentiment that “Brexit means Brexit”, and grounding fears voiced by remainers that the UK will be heading for a ‘hard’ Brexit.