Foreign policy

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Following the leaders’ debate much attention was paid to the fact that, beyond the EU, there was no mention of British 
foreign policy.

That may be, in part, due to the fact that as a shrinking actor on the global stage, the UK does not really have a foreign policy.

Indeed, a recently retired 
British Nato chief described the UK as a “foreign-policy irrelevance”.

After failed military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan by the previous Labour government, David Cameron made the case for armed intervention in Libya, now in a state of civil war, then bungled the parliamentary vote.

In addition, the UK, one of the moving forces behind the 1994 Budapest memorandum which guaranteed Ukraine’s security, was then absent when dealing with Russian aggression against that state, ceding the ground to France and Germany to deliver some form of peace.

At the Nato summit last year Mr Cameron urged alliance members to pledge at least 2 per cent of their GDP to defence spending, but looks likely to break his own rule.

The UK is no longer a global player, an “irrelevance” on the global stage, and to further 
reinforce this sorry state of affairs the Prime Minister threatens to remove the UK from the European Union, the one institution which gives us some form of global presence.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

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