Because the British foreign policy focuses on bilateral ties in Europe and in the Indo-Pacific and the Middle East.
The freeze marked the inversion of the thinking of Theresa May’s era, and there was little discussion when the political declaration at the time of the British withdrawal talked about the negotiation of in-depth cooperation between Britain and Europe.
May himself said at the Munich Security Conference in 201
The European Union has even issued recommendations on how such cooperation should proceed in detail, but the UK has not yet adopted it.
The two sides have not yet officially announced the British transition from the May era, and its impact is still rarely discussed.
For the EU, when trying to integrate its own foreign policy, people are worried that the UK may undermine its foreign policy norms, just as it is worried that the UK will have differences in trade standards. But British diplomats believe that, compared with the EU, the UK after Brexit has shown independent judgment and rapid pace, and the cumbersome decision-making requires all 27 EU foreign ministers to agree. The Eurosceptics of the Conservative Party did not find the shortcomings of bypassing EU foreign policy.
Therefore, in the past year, the United Kingdom has been cooperating with the EU on a strict temporary basis, often taking its own path on issues such as sanctions. For example, in the case of Belarus, the United Kingdom (with Canada) imposed sanctions on the Minsk regime before the EU (and the United States) reached an agreement on its plan. The EU and the US seem to have coordinated their respective measures, but then the EU’s measures were blocked and delayed due to the threat of veto by Cyprus.
In contrast, the response to the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny led the European Union and the United Kingdom to coordinate closely following the 2018 Skripal blueprint.
Take Turkey’s natural gas extraction in the eastern Mediterranean as an example. The European Union has already implemented some sanctions and may implement more sanctions in March, while the United Kingdom has lowered the sanctions and does not want to offend any party. As France and Turkey engaged in insulting transactions and Germany engaged in mediation, the United Kingdom outside the EU was free to walk away, perhaps considering the trade agreement sought with Turkey.
In Libya, the United Kingdom played an important role in the 2011 revolution. It has recently been on the sidelines, paying attention to the EU’s violation of the UN arms embargo by Turkey and leaving the EU to police immigrants crossing the Mediterranean to Spain and Italy. On certain issues, the past year has shown advantages in diplomatic discretion.
The main European forums where the UK is active are still E3-Germany, France and the UK. Here, at least in public, European powers have been keeping pace with the Iran nuclear agreement, resisting pressure from the United States to declare the agreement to break, and further incorporate Iran’s nuclear non-compliance into the dispute settlement mechanism as a way of reaching the agreement. Means of agreement. Declared dead.
E3 is also increasingly coordinating on Iranian human rights violations and discussing broader issues at the political director level, including Russia. But in Ukraine, Britain alone provides defense and political partnership with Kiev.
In general, the EU’s institutionalized cooperation program looks dead, or at least dormant. Rosa Balfour, Director of the Carnegie European Commission, wrote in the Foreign Policy Center Handbook: “The EU must now give up hope for Britain to participate in any institutional arrangements. The foreign policy of the British government is ideologically driven; The EU’s actions are largely process-driven. The gap between the two is one of the reasons for Brexit.”
British diplomats paid attention to the foreign policy agenda of Josep Borrell, EU foreign and security policy representative, and recoiled. He called for a “constructive abstention” to expand the majority of foreign policy seats and called on the EU to use the language of power, which is not attractive to Britain. Similarly, in the eyes of the British, the contrast between Emmanuel Macron’s call for a stronger unified Europe and France’s unilateral foreign policy reveals the falsity of an integrated foreign policy.
In fact, the EU’s foreign policy often looks like an unwilling alliance. But some policymakers say that due to the three countervailing forces alone, the debate on EU-UK foreign policy will restart.
Secular reality may cause Britain to realize that if it cooperates with the European Union, the influence of its foreign policy will multiply. The Biden administration also hopes that the United Kingdom will not practice freelance work, as this will weaken the European Union. Eventually, the EU will slowly integrate its defense sector and has already identified ways in which third parties (such as the United Kingdom) can participate.
Ian Bond of the European Reform Center can see three ways that the United Kingdom and the European Union can formally cooperate: in the exchange and protection of confidential information, the participation of British personnel in defense tasks and operations, and the participation of the United Kingdom in national defense through European defense. Bureau of Industrial Cooperation.
However, it may take the dust settled from the tense trade talks and Biden’s push to start these discussions.