Since 1945, Britain has had to cope with a slow descent from international primacy. The decline in global influence was intended to be offset by the United Kingdom’s entry into Europe in 1975, with the result that national foreign policy came to rest on the two pillars of the Atlantic alliance and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. Yet, with Brexit, one of these pillars is now being removed, leaving Britain facing some serious challenges arising from the prospect of independence.
In this incisive book, Christopher Hill explores what lies ahead for British foreign policy in the shadows of Brexit and a more distant and protectionist America under Donald Trump. While there is much talk of a renewed global profile for the UK, Hill cautions that this is going to be difficult to turn into practical reality. Geography, history and limited resources mean that Britain is doomed to seek a continued foreign policy partnership with the Member States of the Union – only now it will be from outside the room looking in. As a result, there is the distinct possibility that both British and European foreign policies will end up worse off as the result of their divorce.