Setting the agenda: Recommendations for the next UK foreign secretary

Following the launch of Chatham House’s report on foreign policy priorities for the next UK government, panellists explore possibilities for the country’s international role after the election.

Open event, Panel Recording
14 May 2024 — 12:00PM TO 1:00PM
Chatham House and Online

Event video

Experts discuss a pragmatic and credible foreign policy for the next UK government.

The UK finds itself in a delicate position. Rising tensions between the United States and China, an imperialist and assertive Russia, an increasingly powerful China, and violence across the Middle East all make for a difficult international landscape. 

At home, the government has limited scope for spending on international priorities and significant calls on its time from an ailing economy and faltering public services. 

But the UK also has significant assets to offer – an important security role in Europe, a history of effective diplomacy in international institutions, and science, technology and cultural capital. How can the next government bring these to bear in a difficult world?

Does the prospect of a more isolationist US mean a post-Brexit Britain should strengthen its ties with Europe? How can the UK respond to Russian aggression and the largest land war in Europe since 1945? Where can the UK work with countries in the Global South to promote its interests and address global problems from poverty to climate change and rising debt?  

A panel of experts assess these questions and more following the recommendations of Chatham House’s latest report.

Key questions discussed include:

  • What does a pragmatic and credible foreign policy look like for the next UK government?
  • How can the UK balance its relationships with the US and China amidst rising tensions between the two powers?
  • What strategies can the UK employ to improve its relations with Europe post-Brexit and in the face of potential US isolationism?
  • In what ways can the UK strengthen its role in global governance and international development, particularly through partnerships with countries in the Global South?
  • How should the UK navigate shared risks, such as the continued threat of Russian aggression in Europe?