At a Crossroads or Business as Usual? British Foreign Policy and the International Order in the Wake of Brexit-Trump


Abstract


In 2016, the Brexit-Trump watershed resulted in two consecutive shocks for British foreign policy, which under the May governments has been rearticulated around the goal to forge ‘Global Britain’. This article discusses how the ‘Global Britain’ strategy may play out in two broad international domains – trade and security – to elaborate on implications for the international order. The analysis especially elucidates the dubious feasibility of compensating ‘hard Brexit’ with free-trade agreements around the world, and the pitfalls of extrication from the EU as regards common foreign policy, data-sharing and sanctions policy. Trump's election is argued to bring about a more protectionist trade environment while facilitating the prospect of a UK-US trade deal, which however compels the British government to uneasy balancing acts. Finally, an interest-oriented Global Britain about to face diplomatic overstretching and economic difficulties is suggested to have turned into a more precarious defender of the rules-based international order.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v4n1p115

Keywords: United Kingdom; Brexit; Trump; Global Britain; international order.

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