The UK and EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after Brexit: Integrated, Associated or Detached?

By Whitman, Richard G. | National Institute Economic Review, November 2016 | Go to article overview

The UK and EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after Brexit: Integrated, Associated or Detached?


Whitman, Richard G., National Institute Economic Review


None of the existing models for the future trade policy relationship between the UK and the EU come with a predetermined foreign and security policy relationship. This article assesses how the future EU-UK foreign and security policy relationship might be organised post-Brexit. It provides evaluation of the current EU-UK interrelationship in the fields of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and assesses the degree to which the UK is presently integrated into EU decision-making and implementation. It highlights that the UK needs to determine the degree to which it wants autonomy or even divergence from existing EU policies. The article concludes by rehearsing the costs and benefits of three possible future relationships between the UK and EU foreign, security and defence policy: integrated, associated or detached.

Keywords: United Kingdom; security; defence; European Union; Brexit J EL Classifications: F5; F52; P16

In the aftermath of the June 2016 EU Referendum result the majority of attention has focused on what might be the future economic relationship between the UK and the EU and the prospects for the UK's trade relationships with third countries once outside the EU. None of the proposed models for the future trade policy relationship between the UK and the EU (for example, membership of the European Economic Area or a Free Trade agreement) come with a defined foreign and security policy relationship. Further, article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, providing for the exit of a member state from the EU, does not offer a roadmap to a new status of foreign, security and defence policy relationship between the EU and its exiting partner.

As a member of the EU, the UK's external relations, extending beyond foreign and security policy, and encompassing a wider variety of areas including trade, aid, environment, energy, development policy, immigration, border, asylum, cross-border policing, justice policies are all currently intertwined with EU policies. Establishing the broad panoply of UK national policies across all of these areas will be an extensive undertaking. This article focuses on the implications of Brexit for the UK's foreign, security and defence policy. Security and defence policy gives effects to the broader foreign policy aims and ambitions for a state. For the UK the EU has been a centrepiece of foreign policy since accession in 1973. Consequently exiting the EU presents the prospect of a major rethink in the aims and ambitions for Britain's place in the world and has implications for the conduct of British diplomacy and will impinge on security and defence policy (Whitman, 2016a, b). The British government has yet to outline a coherent assessment of Brexit's implications. As illustrative, neither Prime Minister Theresa May's UN General Assembly address in September nor Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's 2 October speech to the Conservative Party conference provide sufficient detail on the objectives of future UK foreign policy and so allow for a sufficiently solid basis to assess the country's future stance on security and defence policy (May, 2016; Johnson, 2016).

The June Referendum vote can be read as facilitating the acceleration of a trend that was already at work in government thinking. The two recent Conservative-led governments had already sought to re-calibrate Britain's place in the world to 'de-centre' the EU from the UK's foreign policy. In a response to the rise of 'emerging powers'--as well as to shifts in the global political economy giving a greater prominence to China and Asia--the UK government was already placing greater emphasis on the UK as a 'networked' foreign policy actor, for whom the EU is only one network of influence. The current government core strategy documents that guide the UK government's foreign, security and defence policy clearly demonstrate this position. The 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS) and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) place the EU in a minor supporting role in the UK's defence and security (HM Govt, 2015). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The UK and EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after Brexit: Integrated, Associated or Detached?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.