What should the UK Labour Party's policy towards the European Union be if it returns to power?
As polls continue to show a potential lead for Labour, I interviewed Luke Cooper, an LSE Associate Researcher, convenor of the Another Europe campaign, and author of the new book Authoritarian Contagion; The Global Threat to Democracy, for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
How has Labour Leader Keir Starmer's views on Brexit changed? What is the debate on Brexit in the Labour party? What Brexit priorities does Labour need to balance for its platform?
Why should the UK consider corruption a national security threat?
With an epidemic of fraud hitting the UK during the pandemic, and corruption a matter of daily concern in Westminster, I interviewed Helena Wood, a Senior Fellow at RUSI's Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
How does fraud fall within the "crime–terror continuum"? What is Britain currently doing to address illicit finance more effectively? What does the UK government need to do to address corruption in Britain?
What is Macron's grand strategy?
As the 2022 French presidential election approaches, I interviewed Michel Duclos, Special Advisor for Geopolitics at the Institut Montaigne and former French Ambassador to Syria and Switzerland, for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council. The interview draws on his new book "France in Global Upheaval."
How is Macron a reaction to his predecessors? How has Macron approached the neo-authoritarians? Has their been a militarization of French foreign policy? How successful has Macron been on pushing for European strategic autonomy? How does Macron view Britain and the United States?
What can Britain do if Russia invades Ukraine?
As a major war scare between Russian and Ukraine develops, I interviewed Dr. Maryna Vorotnyuk, a Russia and Eurasia Research Fellow at RUSI for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
What does this crisis between Russia and Ukraine mean for Britain? What security relationship has Britain had with Ukraine since 2014?
Can Britain and France get on?
How does the French establishment feel about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson? Which of France's main foreign policy objectives currently match those of the UK? Does Brexit still cast a shadow of UK-European relations?
To get a broader perspective, I interviewed Georgina Wright, a Senior Fellow and Director of the Paris-based Institut Montaigne's Europe Center for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
Why did Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron's relationship deteriorate so much? Could track II negotiations between the UK and France be the first step in mending their relations?
What is Britain’s place in a populist age?
Is Anglo-American democracy decaying? Has politics become over-personalized around populist leaders? What does this mean as war scares impact Eastern Europe?
To better understand the security implications of this, I spoke with Dr. Fiona Hill, a Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at the Brooking Institution and who served in the National Security Council of the Trump administration for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council. She is the author most recently of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century, a memoir of her life and time in government.
How did serving in the Trump administration change her view of US politics? Has UK foreign policy become overly-personalized?
What does the Northern Ireland Protocol and the threat of the UK triggering Article 16 mean for Northern Ireland?
The United Kingdom is threatening to use Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, which suspends the agreement either in part or as a whole, amid tough talks with Brussels. I wanted to understand what this meant for the different communities affected by it. To find out, I interviewed Matthew O'Toole, Member of the Northern Irish Assembly for South Belfast, who is the Social Democratic and Labour Party's Spokesperson on the Economy and Brexit for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
What does the protocol mean to the communities in Northern Ireland? How is the UK government impacting the region? What can be done to help moderate unionists support the continuation of the protocol?"
What does AUKUS mean for Britain?
The new pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States has grabbed headlines because of French disgruntlement over it triggering a cancelled a submarine deal. But what does the agreement mean for Britain? To find out I spoke to Dr. Euan Graham, Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
Why did Australia choose to push for it? How has it been received in the region? And is there a chance Britain will be disappointed?
Can anti-kleptocracy win in London?
Edward Lucas, a columnist at the Times, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and formerly a senior editor at The Economist is one of Britain's best known critics of Russian kleptocrats and his enablers. Now he's making the jump into politics as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Cities of London and Westminster for the Liberal Democrats. I wanted to find out why he was standing for this week's #BritainDebrief from the Atlantic Council.
What needs to change to stop the City of London enabling kleptocracy? What platform is Lucas standing on? And what are his chances?
Did corruption lose the war in Afghanistan?
In the aftermath of the humiliating collapse of the Afghan government, I wanted to find out for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council why that government collapsed like a house of cards. I interviewed Sarah Chayes, who served for a decade in Afghanistan including as special assistant on corruption to Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as having advised David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal, commanders of the International Security Assistant Force.
Was the Afghan government a vertically integrated criminal enterprise? Why did Washington turn a blind eye to corruption? What could the US and the UK have been done differently? And is America in danger of succumbing to its own corruption?
What went wrong for the British Army?
On the eve of twenty years since 9/11, I wanted to find out what went wrong in Iraq and Afghanistan for what used to call itself "the best little army in the world." To find out I spoke to Simon Akam for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic, the author of the recently published "The Changing Of the Guard: The British Army since 9/11."
Why did the British lose control of Basra and then Helmand? How has a culture of no resignation unaccountability taken hold at the top? And why have former military politicians and public figures reacted so vociferously to Biden ending a war the British lost on the ground?
What does the collapse of American Afghanistan mean for Britain? As horrific scenes unfold at Kabul airport with the Taliban now in control of Kabul, I wanted to find out what this means for Afghanistan, American credibility and British foreign policy for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council so I spoke Tom Tugendhat, MP, chair of the UK Parliament's foreign affairs select committee. What does this expose about British weakness and dependence? How has Boris Johnson's government handled the situation? What has this done for American geopolitical standing? And what can the UK now do about refugees?
What is the mood in Kabul?
After the fall of Herat, much of the north and the Taliban's occupation of Kabul and Kandahar seen to be only a matter of time, I wanted to find out for a special edition of #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council what this means and what this reveals about British and European diplomacy. To find out IO spoke to Bruno Macaes the author of most recently "Geopolitics for the End Times: From The Pandemic To The Climate Crisis" and the former Portuguse Secretary of State for European Affairs.
Is the fall of Kabul the real end of American hegemony? Has it exposed European states weakness and dependency? And what does it expose about the viability of projects of nation building, development and aid so central for twenty years to our foreign policies?
Is Biden making a terrible mistake in Afghanistan?
With the United States withdrawing and cities falling to the Taliban in Afghanistan, I wanted to found out for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council what Rory Stewart, former MP and Secretary of State for International Development thought about the crisis.
What does the Taliban takeover mean for Afghanistan? What does it mean for Britain and other NATO allies? And is the United States making a terrible mistake? Stewart, a former resident of Kabul where he pioneered the work of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, who vocally opposed the Obama-era "surge" in Afghanistan, thinks yes.
Have American culture wars come to Britain?
For the second in a series for #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council asking foreign correspondents based in the UK about the country's predicament, I spoke to Yasmeen Serhan, a London-based Staff Writer at The Atlantic. Yasmeen is the author of a recently acclaimed piece "What Euro 2020 has revealed about Englishness" and covers populism and nationalism.
Are US-style culture wars changing Britain? Does US media impose a narrative on the UK? How are issues of race and identity similar but different on both sides of the Atlantic. And what's the right word for the Special Relationship between both countries, given Boris Johnson reportedly doesn't like the term?
A Foreign Correspondent's View: Is British democracy at risk?
In the first of a new series interviewing foreign correspondents based in Britain on their views on the country's predicament, I spoke to Annette Dittert, Senior Correspondent and Bureau Chief of Germany's ARD, who is the author of a viral piece published in English in the New Statesman "The Politics of Lies" on covering what she sees as an erosion of the rule of law.
Is the situation similar to that of Poland and Hungary a decade ago? What makes Johnson's " the politics of lies"? And how does this shape Britain's image in Germany and Europe more widely?
Britain vs. Disinformation: a crisis or an exaggeration?
From vaccines and Brexit to foreign ops, the subject of disinformation and how to handle it is constantly invoked in the UK debate. But how much of the threat is this really? To find out I spoke to David Patrikarakos, journalist and author of "War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century" for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council.
What has the UK done right? And what is the UK doing wrong faced with this problem? And is the issue really the content?
How the England Team look from Europe?
With England in the finals of UEFA Euro 2020 this weekend I wanted to find out how Gareth Southgate's team and all the feelings and questions about national identity accompanying them look from Europe. To find out for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council, I spoke to Benjamin Haddad, Director of the Europe Centre at the Atlantic Council.
What do the cheers for England, not Britain, look like from the EU? How does Britain's identity issues around football, from taking the knee, to a boycotting MP look from the continent? How does this compare to France's great footballing moments, where the national team has been seen as the carrier of great multicultural hopes and the subject of very bitter controversies?
And is it ever just football?
What does a new Sino-American cold war mean for Britain?
As discussion mounts in Washington DC of a new cold war between China and the United States, I wanted to work out if this was really the case and what it means for Britain. To find out for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council, I spoke to author and China expert James Palmer, deputy editor of Foreign Policy magazine.
What future for Asia with Quad geopolitics? What should Britain be doing in the Indo-Pacific? Can Britain stop itself being sucked into a new cold war?
How did Britain fare in Biden's summitry?
After the G7, NATO and US-EU summits launching Biden's high-level engagement with Europe I wanted to find out how the UK had fared for this week's #BritainDebrief for the Atlantic Council. To find out I spoke to Julia Friedlander, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, deputy director of our GeoEconomics Centre and formerly a CIA analyst and Director for the European Union, Southern Europe and Economic Affairs at the National Security Council.
Was the G7 a success? How did the UK fare as host? What kind of world order is emerging from these summits and is it favorable to London?