The Integrated Review: The UK as a Reluctant Middle Power?

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Courtesy of PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to BAE Systems to mark the publication of the Integrated Review and the Defence White Paper

In the third of a series of reflections on UK foreign policy, Malcolm Chalmers looks at the government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

As the first major cross-government review that includes an extended discussion of foreign policy, the Integrated Review has made significant progress in attempting to develop a coherent narrative on the UK’s role in the world. However, it remains reluctant to acknowledge the extent of the challenges the UK faces, and references to the country’s ‘superpower’ and ‘leading’ roles underplay the hard choices which, as a strong but vulnerable middle power, it needs to make. This paper analyses some of those key choices.


Malcolm Chalmers

Deputy Director General

Senior Management

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