After the seven weeks of lockdown, which had managed to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the British people on the evening of Sunday 10 May to explain the next steps. Restrictions were to be eased, but moves would be tentative and contingent, checking
In the second episode of The Director's Chair, Michael Fullilove speaks with Lord Mervyn King about COVID-19, global economic downturn, the UK's response to the virus, Brexit, and what Lord King terms the 'radical uncertainty' of economic forecasting during a global crisis
The Scottish National Party (SNP) was founded in 1934, and for most of the 20th century was a gathering of eccentrics, writers and Anglophobes (characteristics often combined in one member). Yet now, nearly a century on, it has a majority in the Scottish parliament and formed the government since
After 47 years of a chaotic marriage, and more than three years of debates and negotiations that have cost two prime ministers, the United Kingdom has finally separated from the European Union.
The current conversations on the global consequences of this rupture have largely ignored the Pacific,
As 2019 winds up, Lowy Institute staff and Interpreter contributors offer their favourite books, articles, films, or TV programs this year.
There are perks to being unfashionably behind the cultural curve. By letting new shows, books and tech percolate in the court of public opinion for a few
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a non-binding decision in February 2019 supporting Mauritius’s claim to the UK-administered Chagos Archipelago, which includes Diego Garcia. Subsequently the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution in May 2019 endorsing the ICJ
The US base on the island of Diego Garcia, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is among the most important US military facilities in the world, and is the foundation stone of the US presence in the Indian Ocean region. It’s been a vital element in Australia’s strategic position in the region for
On 22 November, the United Kingdom failed to comply with UN Resolution 73/295 passed in May, which demanded the UK “withdraw its colonial administration from the Chagos Archipelago unconditionally within a period of no more than six months”. Australia was one of only six states to vote against
This is an edited and abridged transcript of the launch of Sam Roggeveen’s new Lowy Institute Paper Our Very Own Brexit, held last week at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne with prominent social commentator and award-winning journalist George Megalogenis. George MegalogenisNormally,
Over the past few weeks, breathless British journalists have published verbatim the private words and long missives of a person known as “No. 10 Source”, who on close inspection is almost certainly Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chief of Staff. Cummings attracted public
The current diplomatic spat between the United Kingdom and the United States, following a fatal road accident involving the wife of a US “diplomat”, draws attention, yet again, to diplomatic immunity and its potential abuse.
The facts, as reported by the UK media and based on witness accounts
On 31 October, the UK is once again due to leave the European Union. This is the third such deadline this year. It is possible that there will be a fourth, should the European Council be asked yet again to extend the UK’s membership to provide time for it to leave in an orderly rather than
Many of The Interpreter’s readers are experts on the theory and conduct of international relations. So, quite reasonably, they look at armed conflict through the lens of inter-state relations, where one state resorts to the use (or the threat of use) of armed force to prevail over another. For
In aligning himself with US President Donald Trump with regard to policing the Persian Gulf, new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has abandoned any pretence that his type of Brexit would exclude security and defence matters. This is in sharp contrast to the position of Theresa May before him,
Later today, after decades of speculation, Boris Johnson will be driven to Buckingham Palace, to “kiss hands“ with Her Majesty The Queen and receive his appointment as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and First Lord of the Treasury.
Johnson is one of the most compelling and
The most perplexing question following Iran’s capture of the MV Stena Impero on Friday is why the British were unable to foresee this action as a natural response to Britain’s earlier seizure of the Iranian-flagged tanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar and make appropriate preparations. The Grace 1 was
The Australian and British governments continue to support defence exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – countries accused by the United Nations of committing war crimes in Yemen – despite mounting pressure for Western countries to halt military sales to the Saudi Arabian-led
For the past two years, the highlight of the annual IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore was the keynote speech by the sadly departed former US defence secretary Jim Mattis. This year the task of speaking on behalf of America to the leading forum of Asian defence
After Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and David Cameron, Theresa May is the latest Conservative Prime Minister to have been undermined by her inability to manage the divisions within her party over Europe.
May tried to achieve something that was always going to be difficult, respecting the outcome
Whatever the true situation behind the sacking of Gavin Williamson as British defence secretary over claims (which he strenuously denies) that he leaked information to the Daily Telegraph from a meeting of the National Security Committee on Chinese telecom company Huawei, one thing is crystal clear
On a cool May afternoon in Canberra seven years ago, then foreign minister Bob Carr was hot with indignation about the case of Julian Assange. The family and supporters of the Wikileaks founder had complained long and loud that Australia was not doing enough to help one of its citizens facing legal
Brexit appears to be approaching a bewildering denouement. Prime Minister Theresa May has reached a dead end with a negotiated deal that met the criteria for leaving the European Union and would have done so in an orderly fashion but satisfied very few.
Hard-line Leavers considered it so much
At the end of last month, the African archipelago nation of Mauritius secured an important legal victory in its territorial and maritime disputes against its former coloniser, the United Kingdom.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) produce an advisory opinion that rejected the UK’s claims
In the midst of Britain’s painful extraction from the European Union, a saga which deepened this week with a second parliamentary defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal, key figures on the Conservative right harbour a quiet hope that the Commonwealth will come to the rescue. Notwithstanding the
Despite accounting for a mere 0.12% the UK’s overall economic output, fisheries is one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit jumble. Highly politicised, negotiations on the future fisheries regime could tarnish the overall outcome of British departure from the EU.
Issues of British
For those of us with an internationalist viewpoint, watching the Brexit process unfold in the context of the Trump Presidency has left us demoralised and despondent. In both cases, we see the rise of populism and demagoguery in great liberal democracies. We see chaos, a self-inflicted wound. And we
In March 2017 the British government invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and gave itself two years to organise an orderly withdrawal from the European Union. Now, with the time almost up, it is still unclear whether the withdrawal will be orderly, disorderly, postponed or abandoned.
The Islamic State is on the verge of total defeat. As a result, many of the remaining foreign fighters who travelled to the caliphate are coming out of the woodwork. One of those is Shamima Begum, a former student from the United Kingdom who at the age of 15 travelled along with two other
A workable divorce deal hasn’t even been inked, yet already one of the most seismic episodes in British political history has been scripted, dramatised, and broadcast to an audience languishing in the deadlock of its aftermath.
Brexit: The Uncivil War centres upon the successful Vote Leave
With Prime Minister Teresa May’s Brexit withdrawal deal rejected this week by the House of Commons, the future of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union remains as uncertain as ever.
Possible scenarios include a further vote on the deal, an exit with no deal agreed, an extension of
As the tick-tock of the Brexit clock moves toward a deadline of 29 March, the ramifications are fast unfolding. The UK parliament has now comprehensively rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed deal for British withdrawal from the European Union. There is a demand to see Plan B within days
Britain’s former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has called for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to be rolled into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This would be a monumental mistake for a country looking for relevance in a post-Brexit world.
Over the past two
The saving grace of a nasty divorce is durable insight into the true values of the parties involved. And so, with Brexit.
The Withdrawal Agreement – which has triggered rancorous opposition in parliament and a political crisis in the UK – lays bare the diplomatic cards. Whatever its eventual
Seamus Heaney, the late Irish poet and playwright, once (half-) joked that “anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can’t be too optimistic”.
Optimism in Northern Ireland is certainly in short supply.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has presented a draft agreement with the European
It’s an old joke: a couple from the city get lost in the countryside and ask a farmer for directions back to town. “Oh, I wouldn’t start from here,” the farmer replies with a grin.
And so trapped must feel British Prime Minister Theresa May, fighting for her political life in a bid to
The British Royal Navy looks set to make a significant reappearance in the Indo-Pacific after the long distraction of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Australian decision to buy nine BAE Systems Type 26 ASW frigates is the latest in a flurry of indications suggesting the UK has an increased
So it’s farewell Bonza Boris, for the moment at least. Boris Johnson, now former British foreign secretary, travelled to Sydney in July last year to deliver the Lowy Lecture, when he gently poked fun at himself and his youthful exploration of Australia, as well as the two countries
When England struck their winning penalty against Colombia at the end of a tense night of football on Tuesday, old assumptions crumbled.
Had the team exorcised its fear of shoot-outs? Could they reach the final? And would the British Government really maintain its official boycott of Russia’s