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On Britannia – Monday 7th June

On Britannia
Monday 7th June, by Archishman Goswami and Richard Payne
As we head into a new month with the promise of the end of lockdown continuing to hang precariously in the balance, the world of foreign policy remains as active as ever. Today’s newsletter introduces for the first time global perspectives on the state of British foreign, defence and security policy as we go over some recent assessments by foreign think tanks of where the United Kingdom (UK) stands in today’s increasingly multipolar world. So read on!

Leading the agenda
PM to declare roadmap for complete global vaccinations by end-2022
PM Boris Johnson tweeted yesterday that he would lay out a roadmap at the upcoming G7 summit in Cornwall on the 11th for complete global vaccination against the Coronavirus by the end of 2022.
The statement comes as the UK plans for a further easing of the lockdown on the 21st of June. It also reflects Whitehall’s aim to lead global vaccination efforts in conjunction with key allies by taking the initiative at the earliest.
New post-Brexit deals opening up
With Brexit safely in the rearview for the last six months now, new opportunities for bilateral deals- both economic and otherwise- opened up for Britain over the past week. A report by City AM shows that following Brexit, France, Germany and Italy are keen to work on new bilateral, individual partnerships with the UK with regard to issues of trade, security, intelligence and defence.
On the trade front, India and the UK have signed an interim trade agreement last week which sets a precedent for a much larger deal between the two countries in coming months. The BBC has also reported that new trade deals have been signed between Britain and Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
Putin slams MI6 chief Richard Moore
LBC reported last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin had slammed MI6 chief Richard Moore for his comments on the Russian regime’s treatment of dissidents like Alexei Navalny, its belligerent foreign policy vis-a-vis Ukraine in particular and the threats that it posed to regional and global security.
The exchange highlights the state of Anglo-Russian relations today, demonstrating Russia’s continued efforts to paint the United Kingdom as a smaller and less important member of the international community.
Below the radar
Business Secretary meets with Saudi ministers: On a working visit to Riyadh, British Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was reported by the Saudi Gazette to have met with senior members of King Salman’s Council of Ministers as well as the chairman of the Saudi Space Commission Abdullah Al-Swaha to discuss various facets of strategic cooperation between the two countries, ranging from trade to increased cooperation in the security and space sectors.
News from Parliament: Today is the deadline for submitting evidence as part of the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Select Committee inquiry on ‘Implementing the Integrated Review in Nigeria’.
News from the think tank world: The East Asia Forum based within the Australian National University in Canberra has published an analysis by Frederick Kliem on the UK’s geopolitical tilt towards ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific in the post-Brexit era. Noting the accomplishments thus far of this shift in policy, it also assesses Britain’s strategic wherewithal to maintain a long-term presence in the region and play a role in determining the trajectory of great power politics in the region in the future.
News from the Council on Geostrategy: From Alexander Lanoszka and James Rogers, we have a new Britain’s World article entitled ‘Can Sanctions Dislodge Alexander Lukashenko?’, which discusses whether sanctions are enough to make a difference in Belarus.
Over and out
That’s all for today’s edition. Have a good week, and we’ll see you on Thursday.
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