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The UK’s European diplomatic strategy for Brexit and beyond

Whitman, Richard G. (2019) The UK’s European diplomatic strategy for Brexit and beyond. International Affairs, 95 (2). pp. 383-404. ISSN 0020-5850. (doi:10.1093/ia/iiz031) (KAR id:72156)


The UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) is a major point of departure for the European strategy of one of Europe’s leading economic, diplomatic and security players. This article limits its focus to the UK’s European diplomatic strategy. The article argues that the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be conditioning of the UK’s broader diplomatic approach to Europe. But in exiting the EU the ambitions and modalities of the UK’s other bilateral and multilateral relationships in Europe undergo a recalibration. As the UK government has struggled since June 2016 to provide comprehensive detail on its ambitions for its future economic, political and security relationship with the EU, the development of the broader aspects of the UK’s post-Brexit European diplomatic strategy has been retarded. However, through references to key speeches, Government White Papers and other supporting documents and statements (and the experience of negotiating Brexit with the EU27) the outlines of a post-Brexit UK European diplomatic strategy can be discerned. Whether this strategy will be adequate to provide the UK with a significant degree of influence on Europe’s international relations and whether it gives the UK sufficient ability to addresses the key challenges that it will face in Europe is less certain.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/ia/iiz031
Uncontrolled keywords: UK foreign policy; Brexit; European Union foreign security and defence policy
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions and public administration (Europe)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Richard Whitman
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 01:51 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 05:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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