From Pusillanimous Realism to Defensive Engagement: Britain’s Changing Relationship with the CFSP

  • Nicholas Wright
Part of the New Perspectives in German Political Studies book series (NPG)


This chapter maps the development of British engagement in foreign policy co-operation with the EU, and particularly the British view of the purpose and utility of the CFSP. It argues that there has been considerable continuity in the underlying attitudes and approaches of the Conservative, Labour and Coalition Governments during this period. Most importantly, it argues that governments of all political hues have engaged with the CFSP with an assumption that Britain should play a leadership role in European foreign policy, and its capacity to do so can be seen in the strategic action it has undertaken. The chapter concludes with some reflections on what Brexit is likely to mean for UK engagement in future European foreign policy co-operation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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