Britain’s place after Brexit

British and European flag

Professor Richard Whitman’s research investigates how Britain’s foreign policy is changing as a consequence of leaving the EU and how that impacts on external relationships with third countries in Europe.

Unable to escape the position geographically, or the historically tricky relationship with Europe, Whitman stated that “Since leaving the EU Britain is finding its place in the world, not isolated by leaving but becoming a ‘Global Britain.”

Professor Richard Whitman is based in the School of Politics and International Relations. Through ongoing direct engagement with parliamentary committees and foreign policy-making communities in the UK and overseas, Whitman’s work has informed governments’ understanding of the implications of Brexit for EU-UK foreign, security and defence policy collaboration.

Whitman has directly contributed to the government’s understanding of the implications of Brexit by assisting Parliament in its inquiry work on Brexit and by briefing civil servants, both in the UK and overseas. Whitman has advised on the challenges posed by detaching the UK from EU foreign, security and defence policy arrangements and institutions. He has also explained the limitations of existing third country arrangements (such as with Canada and Norway) as future models for the UK.

Whitman has been commissioned to deliver master classes to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and House of Commons staff committee. Internationally, he was invited to provide briefings on his research to the U.S. State Department, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia (simulcast from the Australian Diplomatic Academy to all overseas diplomatic missions) and New Zealand; and to provide a specialist briefing for state government in Australia and lectures to specialist public-policy making audiences delivered in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Leading on from Whitman’s current research he has applied for a £1 million grant from the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) to enable a systematic analysis of the positioning of the UK diplomatically .