Mayor Pete declared victory in Iowa

The week in foreign policy

It’s been a big week in politics around the world, and a massive week in foreign policy, with the race to be the Democratic nominee for President in the United States kicking off in Iowa. Closer to home, the United Kingdom has been caught up on the UN’s Climate Change Conference, hosted in Glasgow in November, and who will preside over it – with even David Cameron being hailed as a potential COP26 President at one point. 

In further British foreign policy news, the Daily Express reported that Christian persecution overseas could be about to become a priority for the government. According to the newspaper, a religious literacy programme will be rolled out to ensure that civil servants and diplomats are no longer ignorant of the dire threats facing Christians around the world.

Elsewhere this week in foreign policy, Washington is worrying that China may be trying to develop its own relationship with Israel – threatening the historically strong links between Washington and Tel Aviv. Daniel J. Samet writes in Foreign Policy that talk of new Chinese-Israeli trade deals point to more complicated relationships, on both sides, with the United States.

In City A.M, Angharad Carrick suggests that Dominc Raab, British Foreign Secretary, is focussing efforts on establishing relations and carving out an early trade deal with Australia. The Foreign Secretary was in Canberra this week, holding talks with Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne to discuss future trade and investment opportunities as well. According to Carrick, Raab and his Australian counterpart are also expected to discuss how the UK can provide assistance in the response to the bushfire crisis.

Ahead of Ireland’s general election on Saturday, Eoin Drea, senior research officer at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, writes in POLITICO that Ireland has never been more alone in the EU. ‘With Britain gone and the EU increasingly dominated by Paris and Berlin, Ireland is an economic outlier’ Drea writes, as Ireland is now the EU’s only purely globalist country left.

In other European news, the Financial Times explores the future of the European Union after Brexit. Smaller, wealthier nations will feel the loss of their ally and partner in budget talks. The balance of power has shifted further in French and German favour, and the dominance of eurozone countries is enhanced. Britain leaves countries like the Netherlands and Sweden, who favour fiscal orthodoxy, free trade, open markets and the NATO alliance, alone to defend their interests in new ways.

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Matt Gillow

Matt is the Communications & Events Manager at the British Foreign Policy Group.