The concept of the United Kingdom acting as a bridge between Europe and the United States has been a key element in British foreign policy for six decades. Under the second Blair Premiership it reached both its apogee and its nadir. This paper analyses these developments focusing both on the transatlantic and European ends. Particular attention is paid to the failure of the Blair government either to establish a secure place for Britain as a co-leader or to make the British people more comfortable in their European skins. This failure occurred at a period when the EU is characterised by leadership transition and confusion. New leaderships will emerge in the EU over the next two years but it seems unlikely that Britain, characterised by a continuing disconnect between a Euro-sceptic public discourse and deep involvement at a governmental level will develop a European policy narrative that is regarded as convincing at either the EU or domestic level. This weakness is compounded by a failure to develop new thinking about the rise of new powers such as China and India.
- United States
- European Union