Sanctions and Patient Diplomacy: Having It All or Just A Diversion?

On the 15th November, the British Foreign Policy Group held a launch event for our new report, ‘Sanctions and Patient Diplomacy: Having it All or Just a Diversion?’. We welcomed Lord Darroch of Kew KCMG, former UK National Security Adviser and British Ambassador to the United States, David Landsman OBE, BFPG Senior Adviser, and Rebecca Harding, trade economist and BFPG Senior Research Fellow, to the panel, chaired by BFPG Director, Evie Aspinall, to discuss the role of sanctions and export controls in foreign policy.

The report finds that sanctions against Russia have led to a significant degree of trade diversion, are catalysing the separation of the economic, technological and financial world into ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ spheres of influence, and are inhibiting the UK’s broader security and prosperity objectives by impacting the ‘patient diplomacy’ of engagement with ‘middle-ground’ powers. The panel convened leading experts to review the report’s findings and explore impact the UK’s sanctions regime has on its wider foreign policy objectives.


Lord Kim Darroch KCMG

Lord Darroch is a retired UK civil servant and life peer in the House of Lords. His diplomatic career spanned over 40 years, primarily focusing on national security issues and European policy. Most recently, Lord Darroch served as the British Ambassador to the United States (2016-2019). Prior to Washington, he was National Security Adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron (2012-2015), and in that role, oversaw issues such as the rise of Daesh in Iraq and Syria, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the collapse of government authority in Libya. In addition, he worked in senior roles on UK-EU policy and multilateral negotiations, including spells as Permanent Representative to the European Union (2007-2011) and as EU Adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair (2004-2007). Earlier in his career, Lord Darroch worked in a wide range of positions and policy specialties, including Private Secretary to the Minister of State for the Middle East, Head of the Adriatic Department during the Dayton Accord negotiations, and as Head of the News Department at the FCDO. In addition to his two ambassadorial postings, Lord Darroch completed tours in Brussels, Rome, and Tokyo. In 1997, he was appointed a Companion of Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG), and as a Knight Commander (KCMG) in 2008. In 2019, he was made a life peer in the House of Lords.

Dr Rebecca Harding

Rebeccais a Senior Research Fellow of the British Foreign Policy Group and an independent trade economist, public speaker and sustainable trade and supply chain specialist. She has built three data-based technology businesses in the trade and sustainability space and held senior positions as Head of Corporate Research at Deloitte, Senior Fellow at London Business School, and Chief Economist roles at the Work Foundation, and UK Finance. She acted as Specialist Adviser to the Treasury Select Committee and advised the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship. She has acted as a trade finance and supply chains expert witness, is a member of the World Trade Board, the ITFA’s ESG Committee and the ICC’s sustainable trade finance technology sub-committee. Between 2004 and 2018 she was a Director and Trustee of the German-British Forum. Her co-authored books, “The Weaponization of Trade: the Great Unbalancing of Policy and Economics” and “Gaming Trade: Win-Win Strategies for the Digital Era” have defined the trade-based nature of strategic competition in the digital era. She provided the business case for the adoption into UK law the framework to enable digital trade; her work on the “regulatory paradox” of current sustainability reporting requirements has catalysed the establishment of the ITFA’s cross-industry Audit Council to set sustainability reporting and audit standards. She has authored 8 other books on the German economy, global innovation policy, and SME financing and Venture Capital. Her high media profile includes frequent appearances on BBC Television and Radio, Sky News, CNBC, and Times Radio, as well as citations in the broadsheet media.

David Landsman

David is a Senior Adviser at the British Foreign Policy Group. David is also Chief Executive of British Expertise International, and Senior Advisor at The D Group, two of BFPG’s sister organisations. He is a former British diplomat and senior executive whose main area of interest now is the interface between business, government and geopolitics. His diplomatic career included serving as British Ambassador to Albania and Greece and working on defence and proliferation. He has had executive roles at De La Rue plc and the Tata Group’s holding company in Europe. His other current positions include Chair of Digital Cognate, a deep tech company, and of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce; Partner at Circklo, which supports early-stage tech businesses; and member of the International Advisory Board of the London Institute of Banking and Finance.  He has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge and is a Chartered Director.

Evie Aspinall

Evie Aspinall is the Director of the British Foreign Policy Group. Her primary research interests are domestic consent for foreign policy, the UK’s role in the world and challenges posed by the UK’s strategic rivals. Evie holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and an MSc from King’s College London. She has previously worked at UN Women UK and the Future Leaders Network and was formerly the UK Head Delegate to the Youth7, the G7’s official youth engagement group. She also served as President of Cambridge University Students’ Union. She is a regular commentator in the media on issues pertinent to UK foreign policy.

BFPG Admin