Posts Tagged ‘Russia’



In 1966, the confrontation with Indonesia was coming to an end and the UK was withdrawing the last of the UK, Australian, New Zealand, and Gurkha troops from their front-line positions in Borneo. The border ran along the mountain tops, and tiny forts had been established from which foot patrols pushed out, gathering intelligence reports from the local Dayak tribes, and chasing down infiltrating Indonesian soldiers. By the time one Flight Cadet Flood sat in the co-pilot’s seat of the Westland Whirlwind that pulled out the last patrol – New Zealanders with a huge Maori captain in command — Konfrontasi was over.

The jungle from above looked empty, a mass of green foliage with the occasional giant tree standing clear, festooned with lianas and the occasional orchid, but beneath the canopy, it was crisscrossed with lines of communication, paths, streams, and rivers which the local Dayak tribes knew perfectly. The infiltrators were on a hiding to nothing, their every move watched and reported. There were rumours of individual Indonesian soldiers vanishing and darker rumours of what happened to them. We later flew into a Dayak village with some New Zealanders who wanted to say goodbye to their fellow combatants, and at the celebration in the longhouse a couple of the old men were staring at me and muttering to each other. I asked one of the Kiwis what was up, and he grinned, pointing to my hair which had turned almost white blond under the tropical sun. “They think you’re a collector’s item, mate’. He was joking. I think he was joking. But there had been those rumours about the vanished soldiers.

Years later I was in Stanley just after the Falklands war and fell into conversation with a naval padre who had arrived, rather improbably, in a small diesel submarine. He’d been to a Dayak village when the British government withdrew from the Far East entirely, with Borneo becoming part of the Malaysian Federation. The elders had summoned everyone to say farewell with everything they had of value spread on the ground, spears, flipflops, polished copper rings, anything, everything. “This,” they said,” is everything we have. Take it. Please don’t leave us.” And the British got into their helicopters and flew away.

That was not the worst betrayal of those people who had saved many Commonwealth lives. Enter Greenpeace. CND, that mishmash of idealists, peaceniks, pacifists, and Moscow’s fellow travellers, was losing the propaganda battle when Greenpeace was formed in a deliberate attempt to hijack the sensible human desire for a peaceful world. Their CND DNA is plain to see in their policies: no to full-scale nuclear power; no to fracking which might compromise Russian oil and gas exports; no to limiting the use of food crops and prime agricultural land to feed engines and not people; no to the development of small and medium-sized reactors which can be built in factories and rapidly assembled on site, reactors which would end the demand for solar panels and Russian gas, end the development of wildlife-hostile wind turbines and catchpenny fuel crops.

It’s simple and should be obvious to the meanest intelligence: if you mandate and enforce the use of biofuels you will create an unstoppable demand. Ethanol from corn and wheat in our petrol, palm oil and what-have-you in diesel, clear-felled and chopped up forests being burnt in Drax power stations, the commercial incentive is there, and companies follow the artificial demand. But what do we get today?  Iceland and Greenpeace have been trying to push their Green credentials with an advert condemning palm oil production and the threat to orangutans. Well, they caused it, they are the chief architects of the tumbledown energy structure we’re living in. Every acre of clear-felled jungle in Borneo is because they willed the ends without considering the means.

Hypocrites, hypocrites beneath contempt. Come on, Greenpeace, let’s have an apology. Then demand SMR development as a crash priority before the last of the old men of the woods is butchered to make a few more billions for the money men who care nothing for Planet Earth.

I won’t hold my breath.


Putin calls for INF dialogue

Russian President Vladimir Putin says it is dangerous to abandon the treaty and has called for military experts to discuss agreement [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told local media that he is hoping to resume negotiations on the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty governing land-based short-to-intermediate range nuclear missiles.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced that he wanted to withdraw from and terminate the INF treaty, blaming Russia for consistet violation of its tenets.

Trump’s announcement alarmed many around the world, especially European NATO leaders, who said that failure to preserve the “landmark arms control treaty” would lead to a new nuclear arms race.

Trump had said that Russia was testing missiles prohibited by the INF treaty, but offered no evidence to support his claim. Russia has denied such accusations and said it was the US that was in violations.

Putin has said that he hoped the US would explain its position through dialogue.

“It is more important to maintain dialogue not even at a top or high level but at a level of experts. I hope a comprehensive negotiating process will be resumed,” he told Russian media this week.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton had arrived in Moscow two days after Trump announced that he would pull the US out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) because of alleged Russian violations.

Bolton told reporters shortly after meeting Putin that technology had changed and created different strategic realities which necessitated a different US position.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

The extent of Russian-backed fraud means the referendum is invalid

ewan mcgaugheyFour separate reports have fatally undermined the Brexit vote, argues Ewan McGaughey (King’s College London). They show how Russia used the Leave campaigns, official and unofficial, to sway the referendum. A case soon to be heard in the High Court will argue that the result should consequently be deemed void.

Four reports from the US and UK on the Brexit poll have damaged the legitimacy of the vote. They documented the Kremlin-backed cyber-war, the harvesting of UK voters’ personal data, criminal overspending, and how the biggest donation to Brexit, £8.4m by Arron Banks, may not have come from the UK. (Banks denies his money came from a Russian goldmine, but failed to sue those who said he ‘colluded w/ Russians to deliver #Brexit’, and Banks’ lawyers dropped him.). Now a legal case is listed for 7 December to declare Brexit void, and nullify notification of article 50. It is being led by two QCs against the Prime Minister. The campaign for a ‘People’s Vote’ on the actual deal – not a mystery Brexit prize – is also gathering strength. So after four reports, is a funeral for Brexit coming soon?

The reports make compelling viewing. First, in January 2018 a US Senate minority committee documented how ‘Putin’s Asymmetric Assault on Democracy’ in the UK was coming ‘into sharper focus’. It said this was ‘all the more stunning given the innate resilience within British society to the Kremlin’s anti-democratic agenda.’ Before he quit the Foreign Office on 9 July, Boris Johnson told a Commons committee he hadn’t seen ‘a sausage’ of evidence for Russian interference in Brexit. That appears to have been as truthful as a certain bus.

putin trump

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, July 2018. Photo: White House. Public domain

Second, released on 11 July, the Information Commissioner’s Office issued a ‘notice of intent’ to bring the maximum fine against Facebook, for allowing ‘harvesting of data’, which ended up in the hands of the Leave campaigners. The fine was imposed on 25 October. The ICO explained how Facebook enabled online ads to be psychologically targetted at UK voters. Vote Leave leader Dominic Cummings said after the referendum he ‘dumped our entire budget in the last 10 days, and really in the last three or four days’. This targeted ‘roughly 7 million people, who saw something like one and a half billion ads’.

Third, on 17 July, the Electoral Commission’s Report announced a fine against Vote Leave for (at best) recklessly breaking its legal spending limit by £449,079.34. It coordinated a ‘common plan’ with its youth wing, BeLeave, to overspend. This amounted to 6.4% excessive spending, compared to a margin of 1.8% of voters in the poll result. Would Vote Leave have won without that spending and advertising? According to Cummings, ‘All our research and the close result strongly suggests No.’ The same goes for Vote Leave’s criminal offences.

In the fourth report, perhaps the most shocking, the Conservative-led Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee concluded Russia engaged in ‘unconventional warfare’ during the Brexit campaign. This included ‘156,252 Russian accounts tweeting about #Brexit’ and posting ‘over 45,000 Brexit messages in the last 48 hours of the campaign.’ As it said, Kremlin-controlled media, ‘RT and Sputnik had more reach on Twitter for anti-EU content than either Vote Leave or Leave.EU, during the referendum campaign’. This alone is damning – but we know it is nowhere near the full extent, because Facebook and Alphabet (which owns YouTube and Google) have not been forced to disclose how their platforms were exploited. The DCMS committee did not undertake legal analysis, but it is an offence for broadcasts (which include memes or videos online) ‘to influence persons to give or refrain’ from giving their votes ‘from a place outside’ the UK. Aiding and abetting a crime is also potentially a crime. This should enable the police to force Facebook and Alphabet to disclose its data on the extent to which Russian-financed bots exploited ‘like’, comment and sharing functions.

The select committee also backed the National Crime Agency’s investigation of Banks, which began on 1 November. Banks – a failing insurance salesman – ostensibly gave the biggest political donation in UK history to Brexit: £8.4 million. The committee said Banks ‘failed to satisfy us that his own donations had, in fact, come from sources within the UK.’ It is reportedly clear that the Kremlin offered Banks a multi-billion dollar goldmine. Banks tweeted four weeks after the Brexit poll “I am buying gold at the moment & big mining stocks.” Taking money from a hostile foreign party would be a national security issue of the highest order: with ‘unconventional war’ it may raises the prospect of offences under the Trading with the Enemy Act 1939. Vince Cable called it ‘treason’.

These four reports are just the tip of the Brexit-berg. Professor Timothy Snyder, a Yale historian, explains in The Road to Unfreedom how Russia has engaged in hot, cold, and cyber-war against Europe and America. A turning point appears to be the run-up to both the Ukrainian conflict and the Paris climate agreement of 2014. Putin has long mocked the existence of manmade climate damage. Russia’s exports are 60% fossil fuels (compared to China with 2% or the UK and US around 8%). When we get a zero-carbon economy, Russia’s economy is in serious trouble because its oligarchs are failing to diversify. This is why Russia backs climate-damage deniers or sceptics everywhere: Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, the Alternative für Deutschland, Lega Nord, the United Kingdom Independence Party, or indeed Vote Leave’s CEO Matthew Elliot, who co-founded the Conservative Friends of Russia.

The illegal data harvesting, the overspending, the cyber-war by Russia, the possibly criminal source of the biggest donation to Brexit, delegitimise the Brexit poll. This matters because at common law, votes can be void when they break the law. The common law principle applies to both elections and referendums. First, in the leading case called Morgan v Simpson, the Court of Appeal held if an

‘election was conducted so badly that it was not substantially in accordance with the law as to elections, the election is vitiated, irrespective of whether the result was affected or not.’

Second, where there is an irregularity – even one that is not major – that ‘did affect the result’ (and it is arguable it did for Brexit) a vote must also be declared void.

This specific rule, which requires a vote is free and fair, is connected to the general principle that ‘fraud unravels everything’. As a leading case once said, ‘No judgment of a court, no order of a Minister, can be allowed to stand if it has been obtained by fraud. Fraud unravels everything. The court is careful not to find fraud unless it is distinctly pleaded and proved; but once it is proved, it vitiates judgments, contracts and all transactions whatsoever.’ ‘Fraud’ in law is an objective concept. It implicates the fraudulent appropriation of Facebook data; Vote Leave ‘knowingly or recklessly’ overspending; the fraudulent pretence that Russian cyber-bots or algorithms were a legitimate part a UK political discourse; or potentially fraudulent funding of Brexit by Russia through Arron Banks. It means that the ‘order’ of the Prime Minister to trigger article 50, and negotiate to leave, could be unravelled.

The case that will argue this – which begins on 7 December – is called Wilson v Prime Minister. The full grounds are well worth reading, but its opening sentence is the nub: the question is whether a ‘free and fair vote is one of the constitutional requirements of the United Kingdom’. Wilson and the other claimants submit that it is.

Now, it’s a big thing to litigate the very validity of Brexit. But if Russian athletes win Olympic medals when they are taking drugs, their victories are not valid. The same is true of a corrupt vote. The Prime Minister’s lawyers have already said that maybe the PM knew about the possibility of fraud, and has gone ahead with Brexit anyway. If that’s true (without having the full facts) the PM’s discretion can still be declared void because she didn’t take into account relevant considerations: the full extent of the fraud.

What’s clear is that the UK is now in a terrible situation. It’s not just the economy. We are genuinely facing the breakup of the country: the end of a 210 year union between Britain and Northern Ireland, and the risk of ending a 311 year union with England, Wales and Scotland. For Putin, the ability to disable two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in two years is a genuine geopolitical victory. It didn’t work with Le Pen in France, and it can’t touch China. But it gave the UK Brexit, and it gave the US Trump. Our senior politicians need to look impartially and dispassionately at what has been unfolding, and act.

After the last physical invasion of British sovereignty, in 1947, the Electoral Law Reform Committee said irregularities in votes were ‘attempts to wreck the machinery of representative government’ and ‘an attack upon national institutions which the nation should concern itself to repel.’ Our constitution is not codified, but it is written in the case law and the statute books. The law tells us every vote must be free and fair. If Brexit was not, as four reports show, it looks like it’s time for a funeral.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE.

Ewan McGaughey (@ewanmcg) is a senior lecturer, and teaches constitutional law at the School of Law, King’s College, London. This blog is based on a forthcoming article, ‘Could Brexit be void?’ (2018) King’s Law Journal, forthcoming.

Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

  • Exclusive: Jerome Corsi to Guardian – ‘They asked about Nigel’
  • Key Brexit figure Farage has denied involvement with Russia

Robert Mueller is seeking more information about Nigel Farage for his investigation into Russian interference in US politics, according to a target of the inquiry who expects to be criminally charged.

Related: Rightwing author Jerome Corsi: I expect Mueller to indict me

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Russian trolls prey on the toxic way we do our politics | Rafael Behr

The Kremlin’s target is not the outcome of specific votes, such as for Brexit or the US presidency, but to divide the west

To understand the current political frenzy on both sides of the Atlantic, it helps to know Tortuous Convolvulus. Unfamiliar with his work? Convolvulus was a spy, operating around 50BC, a specialist in psychological warfare. He was deployed by Julius Caesar against a stubborn Gallic rebellion, and his methods were not so different to those of Russian cyber-saboteurs against western democracies.

On a recent trip to the US I was struck by how engaged officials were with the question of a Kremlin-sponsored Brexit

Continue reading...

Central and eastern Europe after Brexit: fear of domination, fear of abandonment

alinaWhere does Brexit leave central and eastern Europe? On the one hand, it pulls the centre of EU gravity eastwards, further away from the Atlantic. On the other, it leaves the region vulnerable on its eastern frontier. Alina Bârgăoanu (Harvard) explains why these states feel abandoned and fear domination by Germany.

The Euractiv journalist Peter Wilding should be proud: back in 2012, when he coined the term Brexit, he could not have imagined that it would have its current circulation – let alone that it would entertain such a rich spectrum of attributes: hard, soft, smart, creative, 2.0 etc. I would like to emphasise some of the aspects of Brexit that are largely missing from the mainstream narratives – especially those stressing the “unified” response of the remaining 27 member states to the “British delusions of global power”.

First, Brexit is by far the most important recent geopolitical event for the Union and its European neighbourhood. In the history of European integration. I would place it next to German reunification. Why? When we talk about the history of European integration, we refer to the Franco-German engine. But we fail to emphasise that “half” of that engine included only the western “half” of Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany. After German reunification, the founding EU engine became a rather different geopolitical entity. Geopolitically, the Union “moved” eastwards, and thus acquired continental-like features. This process was amplified by the two waves of eastward expansion, in 2004 and 2007. The only power left to provide some sort of balance between the continental and maritime features of the Union was Great Britain. Britain is the only European power that “pulls” the Union towards the transatlantic world. With Britain absent, the already powerful continental features of the EU – with Germany at its core – are reinforced. Brexit is a geopolitical catastrophe, not for the entire European continent, but for the transatlantic world which finds itself fractured right in the middle.

poland russia border

The border between Poland and Russia. Photo: Ruben Holthuijsen vi a CC-BY 2.0 licence

Keeping that geopolitical perspective, let me make my second point. It has been underlined that without Britain, EU will never be the same again (pretty common sense). The EU is definitely suffering, but not as a result of Brexit. In fact, there is almost a sense of relief that one can finally talk about an EU army, about a European Monetary Fund, about an economic Schengen, and finally enjoy some financial and geopolitical freedom. The only region that is left vulnerable as a result of Brexit is its eastern frontier. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria (with due differences between them) inhabit the corridor between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea separating Germany from Russia and depend for their security on the robustness of the transatlantic world (meaning the EU, Britain and the US). Together, they represent an “unquiet frontier”, a concept conceptualised by Grygiel and Mitchell (2017), where the pre-eminence of the United States and hence of the US-led global order is challenged.

The concept of a “two”, or “multi-speed Europe” would have never acquired the current quasi-official recognition without Brexit. One of the consequences that we will become more and more apparent in the aftermath of Brexit is that the European Union means more and more the euro zone or the Schengen Area, both with new entries and fresh exits. The two-speed European Union will be enshrined as a well-defined political reality: one speed with well-established borders (institutional and otherwise) and a second speed with porous borders, maintained “just in case”, for some security considerations or for “virtues” such as cheap and skilled labour or the size of domestic markets.

What Jürgen Habermas said about Poland could be safely generalised to all the states making up “the transatlantic world’s unquiet frontier”: “many Poles are torn between the fear of being oppressed by Germany and France, on the one hand, and the fear of being left behind, on the other” (Habermas, 2006). The “unified response” of the eastern bloc of the EU in response to Brexit was not so much an instance of “passionate, emotional solidarity”, as Douglas Alexander recently put it during a conference hosted by the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, but a calculation of the trade-off between “oppression” and “abandonment”, in Habermas’ terms.

“It takes two to tango”, Jan Zielonka aptly reminds us in relation to the Brexit saga (2017). While legitimately concerned with the future situation of their citizens that live and work in UK, many of the Eastern member states left the negotiating power exclusively in the hands of their Western counterparts. They did so out of political anxiety regarding a potential unravelling of the EU without Great Britain, and in response to the more or less explicit pressure that, depending on their behaviour, they can be left out of the emerging European core. No security, geopolitical concerns, no reflection on the socio-economic factors that set Brexit in motion, just the official script underlying the unified response of the remaining 27.

During the same conference at Harvard, Douglas Alexander mentioned what some Polish friends had told him – that between Russian domination and German domination, they would certainly choose the latter. “Oppression” and “domination” are definitely too strong to use in this context. But fear of abandonment, of peaceful, “pragmatic” agreements between the great continental powers of the European continent – without Britain as a possible shock absorber – are definitely pressure points for countries making up the “unquiet frontier of the transatlantic world”.


Habermas, Jürgen (2006). The Divided West, Edited and translated by Ciaran Cronin, Polity: Cambridge.
Grygiel, Jakub J., Wess, Mitchell A. (2017). The Unquiet Frontier. Rising Rivals, Vulnerable Allies, and the Crisis of American Power. Princeton University Press: Princeton.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE.

Alina Bârgăoanu is a Romanian communication scholar currently affiliated with Center for European Studies at Harvard University, with a research project on “The East-West Divide in the European Union and Consequences for the Transatlantic Relationship”.

Learning from Salisbury: UK sanctions policy after Brexit

anna nadibaidzeUncertainty surrounds most aspects of the Brexit negotiations, but in the sphere of sanctions there is a legal framework that provides guidance on what happens after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. However, writes Anna Nadibaidze (Open Europe), the UK may choose to go its own way on occasion – particularly after situations like the Salisbury poisonings. 

The UK will remain part of the EU sanctions regime (which requires a unified position at EU level) until 29 March 2019, after which the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act should come into effect. With the help of this legislation, the UK will be able to implement its own regime, including financial, immigration and trade sanctions. This will be done independently of the EU and its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), but in compliance with broader international obligations, including from the UN Security Council.

What should we expect of the UK’s post-Brexit sanctions approach?

In the short term, divergence from the EU on sanctions seems unlikely. Politically, the UK maintains it will be unconditionally committed to European security, and sanctions are more effective when coordinated. There will also be pressure from businesses that operate both in the EU and the UK, which would find it difficult to comply with different sanctions regimes.

salisbury cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral. Photo: Andrew Oliver via a CC BY 2.0 licence

In the White Paper published by the Government in July, the UK proposes “consultation and cooperation on sanctions” with the EU, which would include exchanging information and technical expertise, a dialogue on future sanctions regimes and “intensive interaction” to adopt “mutually supportive sanctions, including during crises.”

On the EU side, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier suggested that there will be “regular consultations for restrictive measures,” adding, “Dialogue and information-sharing regarding EU sanctions will facilitate the UK’s alignment with the EU.”

The exact format that such collaboration could take remains unclear. There is currently no formal structure through which third parties can automatically align with EU sanctions regimes. For instance, Norway, a close European ally, adopts a large amount of EU sanctions, but does so voluntarily and on a case-by-case basis. It also does not have a say in the decision-making process. Norwegian officials hold both formal and informal meetings with representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS), but there is currently no institutional process through which non-EU countries could influence EU sanctions.

The UK and the EU are likely to reach a pragmatic arrangement if they really understand the mutual benefits of maintaining cooperation on sanctions. The UK’s economic power, the financial importance of the City of London, and its expertise in designing and implementing sanctions will remain important for the EU. Meanwhile, having the support of the EU bloc would be significant for the UK, not only in terms of material impact, but also for symbolic purposes, demonstrating European coordination to external actors in the global arena.

Three Eastern European foreign ministers argued in an op-ed that the UK and the EU should continue working together “to defend joint European interests and values.” Pursuing cooperation on sanctions will be important to make this happen.

On many issues, such as sanctions against Iran, the UK is more likely to stay closer to the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May, along with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed criticism of the US leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement and subsequently re-imposing wide-ranging sanctions.

At the same time, future UK governments could feel inclined to diverge on sanctions, particularly in response to specific crisis situations. There is concern that in the future, EU sanctions could be “more damaging to UK economic interests.” Or they might not be fully aligned with the UK’s political interests. The UK may also be able to respond more quickly than the EU27. The fact that the EU needs to reach consensus for extending measures often leads to them being less restrictive than what the UK would wish for.

This question has become especially relevant following this year’s nerve agent attack in Salisbury. The responses to this crisis demonstrated that there will be cases in which the UK would be ready to go beyond EU measures. Until now the EU has been consistent in its approach to sanctions on Russia, but this does not exclude some European member states, such as Hungary and the new government in Italy, either claiming that sanctions have a negative effect on trade, or pushing for “more dialogue” with Russia.

Divisions were visible when Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for tougher EU sanctions on Russia in August. Most European countries expelled Russian diplomats after the attack in solidarity with Britain. But only last week did EU foreign ministers reach agreement on a new sanctions regime to react to the use and proliferation of chemical weapons – without mentioning Russia specifically, due to the concerns of some member states such as Italy.

Meanwhile, the US has implemented new sanctions specifically in response to the Salisbury attack. Hunt called the EU to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the US, suggesting that the UK’s approach to sanctions might be closer to the US on this occasion.

In response to the Salisbury events, MPs from both sides of the Commons supported a “Magnitsky amendment” to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act in order to target those who commit human rights violations. The UK has become one of the very few EU countries enacting legislation inspired by the US Magnitsky Act, which implements asset freezes and visa bans against several Russian officials. To the frustration of many MPs, the amendment will only be applicable after Brexit.

More recently, after the opposition asked the government to use the Magnitsky powers against Saudi officials implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Hunt had to point out that this could not be done yet and that the UK is talking “to EU partners about how we can act collaboratively using EU structures” to respond.

In the future, the UK could therefore be more inclined to following a similar “model” of current US-EU cooperation, where there is broad US-EU engagement, including through constant communication both through EEAS and bilateral channels, but without formal commitment to align exactly on everything. In the case of responding to Russia’s attack in Salisbury, the US went ahead with further sanctions. Similarly, the UK could use the post-Brexit opportunity to diverge on specific measures in the future, while maintaining broad cooperation and alignment with the EU position.

At the moment the UK and the EU understand the necessity of maintaining a close relationship in foreign policy and demonstrating commitment to European security after Brexit. But in future crises like the Salisbury attack, the cyber-attack on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), or human rights violations such as Khashoggi’s murder, the UK will have to make strategic choices about how it uses the tool of sanctions for its own foreign policy goals.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE.

Anna Nadibaidzie is a research and communications associate at the think-tank Open Europe, where her work focuses on future UK-EU security relations and European foreign policy.She holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. 

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