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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

6. To Brexit and Beyond: Africa and the United Kingdom

Author: Alex Vines

Published in: Africa and the World

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Chapter 6 argues that British foreign policy over Africa in the Cold War era seems to be one driven by guilt over colonialism, migration worries, and fears of terrorism, and the looming trade-stress test and interests mainly with South Africa. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and its successor Conservative government have rebooted trade and investment promotion, and have been rebuilding the UK’s diplomatic network in Africa. Britain has been engaged in UN peacekeeping, contributing to deployments in South Sudan and Somalia. It is also engaged in some military capacity-building, but only in selected African countries such as Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Gambia. But with Brexit, the author predicts that there is likely to be greater de-prioritisation of Africa in British policies as the Theresa May administration shifts the goal posts.

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Footnotes
1
Tony Blair, “Carte Blanche Interview with Tony Blair on matters concerning Africa” (February 2006), http://​tna.​europarchive.​org/​20070807120537/​http://​www.​pm.​gov.​uk/​output/​Page9046.​asp; and Gordon Cumming, “UK African Policy in the Post-Cold War Era: From Realpolitik to Moralpolitik”, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 42(1) (2004), pp. 106–28. The British focus on Africa during a G8 presidency followed a trend started at Kananaskis in Canada in 2002 and Evian in France in 2003.
 
2
Tony Blair, “A Prosperous and Exciting Africa in Our Lifetime”, African Investor, interview (January–February 2010).
 
3
House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, “UK Prison Population Statistics”, No. SN/SG04334 (20 April 2017), researchbriefing​s.​files.​parliament.​uk/​documents/​SN04334/​SN04334.​pdf, p. 13.
 
4
UNCTAD, “Handbook of Statistics” (2009).
 
5
In 2006, 351,000 South Africans visited the UK; in 2007, 498,474 Britons visited South Africa. Some 700,000 Britons live in South Africa and some 350,000 South Africans reside in the UK. South Africa was the twenty-first-largest importer of goods to the UK in 2009, worth £3.6 billion.
 
6
The African Investment Report 2015, Intracen.
 
8
Thomas Cargill, “Tony Blair and the United Kingdom’s Africa Policy”, South African Institute of International Affairs Yearbook 2006/2007 (2007).
 
9
Julia Gallagher, “Healing the Scar? Idealizing Britain in Africa, 1997–2007”, African Affairs 108(432) (2009), pp. 435–51.
 
10
“Top 10 non-UK nationalities working for NHS”, The Guardian, 26 June 2014, https://​www.​theguardian.​com/​society/​2014/​jan/​26/​nhs-foreign-nationals-immigration-health-service
 
11
David Styan, “The Security of Africans Beyond Borders: Migration, Remittances and London’s Transnational Entrepreneurs”, International Affairs, 83(6) (2007), p. 1180.
 
12
Styan, “The Security of Africans Beyond Borders: Migration, Remittances and London’s Transnational Entrepreneurs”, p. 1186.
 
13
Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Laurence Cooley, and Tracy Kornblatt, Britain’s Immigrants: An Economics Profile (London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2007).
 
14
Adjoa Anyimadu, “Scotland and Wales in Africa: Opportunities for a Coordinated UK Approach to Development”, Chatham House Programme Paper, 15 March 2011, https://​www.​chathamhouse.​org/​publications/​papers/​view/​109625
 
15
Christopher S. Clapham, Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 87.
 
16
Comfort Ero, “A Critical Assessment of Britain’s Africa Policy”, Conflict, Security and Development 1(2) (2001), p. 60; and Aline Leboeuf, “L’engagement britannique en Sierra Leone: du volontarisme externe à l’appropriatio”, Afrique contemporaine 207 (2003), pp. 99–113.
 
17
Tom Porteous, “British Government Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa Under New Labour”, International Affairs 81(2) (2005), pp. 281–97.
 
18
Paul Williams, “Britain and Africa After the Cold War: Beyond Damage Limitation?”, in Ian Taylor and Paul Williams (eds), Africa in International Politics (London: Routledge, 2004).
 
19
Although not the terrorist attack on the USA of 11 September 2001, which convinced him that dealing with Africa’s failing states was important for international security.
 
20
“Carte Blanche Interview with Tony Blair on Matters Concerning Africa” (11 February 2006).
 
21
Edward Kaplan, British Attitudes to Africa: Briefing Note, (London: Chatham House, 2005).
 
22
Porteous, 2005, p. 290.
 
23
J. Lunn, V. Miller, and B. Smith, British Foreign Policy Since 1997: Research Paper 08/56 (London: House of Commons, 2008).
 
24
J. Kampfner, Blair’s Wars (London: Free Press, 2004).
 
25
Lunn, Miller, and Smith, 2008.
 
26
Paul Williams, “Blair’s Commission for Africa: Problems and Prospects for UK Policy”, The Political Quarterly 76(4) (2005), pp. 529–39; W. Brown, “The Commission for Africa: Results and Prospects for the West’s Africa Policy”, Journal of Modern African Studies 44(3) (2006), pp. 349–74; and S. Hurt, “Mission Impossible: A Critique of the Commission for Africa”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies 25(3) (2007), pp. 355–68.
 
28
Alex Vines, “Africa and the United Kingdom: Labour’s Legacy, May 1997–May 2010”, in T. Chafer and G. Cumming (eds), From Rivalry to Partnership? New Approaches to the Challenges of Africa (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 26–39.
 
29
“Carte Blanche Interview with Tony Blair”, February 2006.
 
31
M. Wickstead, and C. Hickson, Still Our Common Interest: Commission for Africa Report 2010 (London: Commission for Africa, 2010).
 
32
Jack Straw, “Africa: A New Agenda”, 1 March 2006, http://​www.​oyibosonline.​com/​africa-a-new-agenda-foreign-secretary/​
 
33
Lunn, Miller, and Smith, 2008.
 
34
Labour Africa ministers were: Tony Lloyd, 1998; Peter Hain, 2000; Bill Rammell, 2001; Baroness Amos, 2002; Chris Mullin, 2003; Lord Triesman, 2005; Lord Malloch-Brown, 2007; Baroness Kinnock, 2009. Conservative Africa ministers to date are: Henry Bellingham, 2010; Mark Simmonds, 2012; James Duddridge, 2014; Grant Shapps, 2015; James Duddridge, 2016; Tobias Ellwood, 2016.
 
35
M. Malloch-Brown, “How to Reform the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office”, Financial Times, 13 January 2010, https://​www.​ft.​com/​content/​5d9031d6-0079-11df-b50b-00144feabdc0
 
36
The DFID decided that obvious aid cuts during 2005—the “Year of Africa”—would be too embarrassing, but cuts did occur, such as for middle-income countries like Botswana. The All Party Parliamentary Groups are run by backbench MPs. In 2009 there were 15 APPGs on sub-Saharan African countries or topics (Africa, Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and the Great Lakes, and genocide prevention).
 
37
Personal Interviews, London, May 2017.
 
38
Chris Landsberg, “Fractured continentally: undermined abroad: African agency in world affairs”, paper presented to the seminar African Agency: Implications for IR Theory, 14 September 2011, London, www.​open.​ac.​uk/​socialsciences/​bisa-africa/​files/​africanagency-seminar4-landsberg.​pdf
 
39
D. Curran and P. Williams, The UK and UN Peace Operations: A Case for Greater Engagement (Oxford: Oxford Research Group, 2016); see also http://​www.​oxfordresearchgr​oup.​org.​uk/​publications/​briefing_​papers_​and_​reports/​uk_​and_​un_​peace_​operations_​case_​greater_​engagement
 
40
T. Cargill, “Back to business? UK policy and African agency”, in W. Brown and S.Harman (eds), African Agency in International Politics (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 65–79.
 
41
Vines, “Africa and the United Kingdom: Labour’s Legacy, May 1997–May 2010”, pp. 25–41.
 
42
J. Duddridge, “Minister for Africa’s speech on UK’s Africa Policy”, 23 March 2015, https://​www.​gov.​uk/​government/​speeches/​minister-for-africas-speech-on-uks-africa-policy
 
Metadata
Title
To Brexit and Beyond: Africa and the United Kingdom
Author
Alex Vines
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-62590-4_6

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