UK POLITICAL ELITE APPROACHES TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE AFTER BREXIT

A. A. Aleshin

Aleksandr A. Aleshin, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations RAS, Profsoyuznaya St., 23, Moscow, 123098, Russia.

E‑mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . ORCID 0000-0002-7872-3298

Abstract. The article discusses the approaches of the UK national and sub-national political elites of the UK to the problems and policies of national security and defense after Brexit. Political elites imply leaders and members of political parties with deputy mandates, represented in the House of Commons of British Parliament, as well as leaders and members of parties in the legislatures of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In addition, the Brexit Party is emphasized separately. Using discourse analysis and a spatial organizational approach, the author identifies and analyzes three significant spaces of their political struggle, as well as identifies and classifies the positions of key political parties in the UK on regulation of interethnic and inter-territorial relations in the state, on Brexit, transformation of the foreign policy systemc and defence modernization, and on developing a new national security strategy. It is concluded that the space of the political struggle is shifting from the classical “left-right” dichotomy towards the confrontation between the “remainers” and “brexiters”. Domestic political problems and conflicts come to the fore, in connection with which the author predicts the transition of the political system of the UK to a multi-party system and the continuation of devolutionary processes, as well as a new rise in separatist sentiments. The topics of security and defense in the current context do not sound so acute. At the same time, they will gain new relevance after the country’s exit from the political crisis caused by Brexit, in connection with the search for a new place for the UK in the world. This study shows a split in leading political parties on the issue of security and defence, which will be reflected in future debates in both national and regional parliaments.

Keywords: United Kingdom, political elites, Brexit, national security, foreign policy, party political system of the United Kingdom

DOI: 10.31429/26190567-20-4-8-26