united kingdom

In the next few years, the UK’s constitution will be re-shaped. As a nation, we are yet to recognise the enormity of this. It’s exciting - and terrifying. And this includes the BBC. Why? Not only because it is the single most important media operation in the country, but because it belongs to the peoples of these islands and is part of our informal constitution.

November 2, 2016

DFID has launched a 'frontier technology hub' aimed at helping its staff spot, fund and disseminate technologies to support the agency's development programmes. The three-year Frontier Technology Livestreaming initiative was launched this week (1 November) at the agency's headquarters in London, United Kingdom, along with a report that singles out 10 technologies that fit its definition of 'frontier'.

The precise ramifications of the Brexit vote will take a while to shake out, but many people overseas have interpreted it as the UK pulling up the drawbridge and retreating from its international role. This is both unfortunate and troubling. We must show everyone that we are more committed than ever to international cooperation economically, militarily and, above all, through our “soft power.”

So as not to miss any stitches in the fabric of international relations, leaders attach extra importance to what they wear during diplomatic talks, adhering to the unspoken rules of what is known as ‘fashion diplomacy'. [...] Would you be surprised, if I claimed that the dress the Queen was wearing during a State Banquet was more telling in terms of diplomacy than other political procedures? ​

These values do not just cover human rights, media freedom, the rule of law, and accountability. They also relate to other specific EU values, especially the free movement of people and access by all member states to the EU single market. These sets of values have made the EU attractive to its members as well as to those countries aspiring to join the bloc.

October 13, 2016

There is increasing evidence that we may end up with a hard Brexit. Britain will activate Article 50: the UK will retain control of its own borders, but without access to the single market or European passporting for its financial services industry. While many would portray this as a failure of diplomacy, it may be a smart negotiating tactic.

The progress made towards reducing poverty and improving global health over the last 15 years surpasses that made in the whole history of mankind, explains Joe Cerrell. He outlines the story so far, what drove some of the main achievements, and stresses the importance of Britain’s commitment to overseas development aid.

Britain is currently a highly influential actor in the international development system, due to a combination of its financial clout and soft power, which enables influence without resorting to force or money. The UK has been one of the most important donors to multilateral initiatives such as the World Bank’s International Development Association and the EU’s European Development Fund. 

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