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Capsule Review

The Future of British Foreign Policy: Security and Diplomacy in a World After Brexit

In This Review

The Future of British Foreign Policy: Security and Diplomacy in a World After Brexit
The Future of British Foreign Policy: Security and Diplomacy in a World After Brexit
By Christopher Hill
Polity, 2019, 256 pp. Purchase

This book by a respected Cambridge professor seeks to predict how Brexit will affect the United Kingdom’s diplomacy and geopolitical standing. A classic academic policy book, it proceeds at a leisurely pace. It takes a hundred pages to reach the central question: Will Brexit actually make any difference to British foreign policy? Or can London and its partners simply replicate their current levels of cooperation by other, perhaps more informal means? Here, Hill seems unsure. On the one hand, he persuasively dismisses as nonsense the rhetoric of Brexiteers about renewing special relationships with English-speaking peoples and forging bilateral agreements with China, India, Russia, and others. On the other hand, he recognizes that EU foreign policy is still decentralized, with member states allowed to set their own agendas, and that the United Kingdom has always played a “semi-detached” role in the making of EU foreign policy. How much will actually change? This fine overview concludes with more questions than answers.

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