How effective was Britain's foreign policy ?

  • Created by: ggray5
  • Created on: 06-06-22 14:16
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  • How effective was Britain's foreign policy from an economic lens ?
    • Positives
      • Joining the EEC 1973 (referendum 1975) - Britain was lagging behind in terms of performance compared to the rest of Europe, EFTA not as sucecssful as EEC
      • Maintaining of nuclear detterent is/was cheaper than going to war
      • Suez Crisis Oct to Nov 1956 - despite failing in objectives, the context of wanting to maintain influence over the canal is understandable and would be beneficial
      • Pursual of 'special relationship' - association with the world's largest economy is likely to bring benefits i.e trade, Marshall aid
      • Transition from Empire to Commonwealth - loss of direct governing and influence yet the newly independent nations would join the Sterling Area and Commonwealth
        • Would retain established trade links and preferential trade agreements
      • Withdrawal from ERM 1992 - although humiliating, economic recovery would occur and exchange rates would be decided by market forces and the UK Govt
        • Regained control of interest rates
    • Negatives
      • Korean War 1950-53 - Atlee entered Britain into the war at a time of austerity, rationing and post-war recovery
      • The Falklands War 1983 - costs of defending the island in the future = £1.5 million per islander
      • Effects of 'special relationship' - 1971 Nixon devalued the dollar, worsened balance of payments deficit
        • Dragged into various wars e.g Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea - use of finances to fight a war where American interests are at a high priority
      • Development of nuclear technology and arms race - Feb 1952 first successful test, could be argued that the funds used could've been spent elsewhere
      • Loss of colonies e.g Kenya 1963 Rhodesia 1968 Malaya 1957 - could no longer exploit the land and people for the best possible price for goods
        • Kenya's agriculture consisted largely of cash crops like tobacco
        • Costs of fighting independence movements - Mau Mau uprising was suppressed for 8 years
      • Joining the ERM 1988 - targets had to be achieved through changing interest rates, frequent changes are financially unsustainable


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