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Brexit or Bremain: What future for the UK’s European Diplomatic Strategy?

Whitman, Richard G. (2016) Brexit or Bremain: What future for the UK’s European Diplomatic Strategy? International Affairs, 92 (3). pp. 509-529. ISSN 0020-5850. E-ISSN 1468-2346. (doi:10.1111/1468-2346.12607)

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Abstract

A major public debate on the costs and benefits of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union is presently under way. The outcome of the referendum on 23 June 2016 will be a pivotal moment in determining whether the EU has a future as a component of the UK’s European diplomatic strategy or whether there is a major recalibration of how the UK relates to Europe and more widely of its role within international relations. Since accession to the European Economic Community the UK has evolved an uncodified, multipronged European diplomatic strategy. This has involved the UK seeking to reinforce its approach of shaping the security of the continent, preserving a leading diplomatic role for the UK in managing the international relations of Europe, and to maximize British trade and investment opportunities through a broadening and deepening of Europe as an economically liberal part of the global political economy. Since accession the UK’s European diplomatic strategy has also been to use membership of the EU as facilitating the enhancement of its international influence, primarily as a vehicle for leveraging and amplifying broader national foreign and security policy objectives. The strategy has been consistent irrespective of which party has formed the government in the UK. Increasing domestic political difficulties with the process of European integration have now directly impacted on this European strategy with a referendum commitment. Whether a vote for a Brexit or a Bremain, the UK will be confronted with challenges for its future European strategy.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1468-2346.12607
Uncontrolled keywords: European Union, United Kingdom, Foreign policy, security, defence, referendum, diplomacy
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Global Europe Centre
Depositing User: Richard G Whitman
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2016 08:20 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:17 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/55203 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Whitman, Richard G.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9105-4180
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