UK Diplomacy at the UN after BREXIT: Challenges and Opportunities



Dee M & Smith KE (2017) UK Diplomacy at the UN after BREXIT: Challenges and Opportunities. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 19 (3), pp. 527-542.

The outcome of the UK's EU referendum will have far-reaching implications for its foreign policy and diplomacy and raises fundamental questions of how ‘Brexit' will impact its relationships with Europe and the world. This is even more pertinent when looked at from the perspective of the UN where the UK has benefited considerably from its membership of the EU. This article presents the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for the UK's diplomacy, and influence, at the UN. First, we illustrate the importance of political and regional groups within the UN. Second, we analyse how the UK has worked within such groups, and above all the EU, in two cases: human rights and nuclear weapons issues. Finally, we reflect upon how Brexit is expected to impact UK diplomacy in a UN dominated by group politics, arguing that any rewiring of UK diplomatic channels must continue to account for EU positions.

BREXIT; United Nations; diplomacy; group politics; human rights; nuclear weapons

British Journal of Politics and International Relations: Volume 19, Issue 3

Publication date31/08/2017
Publication date online06/06/2017
Date accepted by journal01/05/2017

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Dr Megan Dee

Dr Megan Dee

Senior Lecturer, Politics