St Mary’s Academic Cited in New House of Lords Report
Professor of Politics and Policy at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, James Ker-Lindsay has been extensively cited in a new report produced by the House of Lords Select Committee on International Relations.
Released earlier this week, The UK and the Future of the Western Balkans, is the Committee’s first report of the 2017-19 session and examines Britain’s role in the region in light of the decision to leave the European Union (EU).
In the report Prof Ker-Lindsay, a leading British authority on the politics and international relations of South East Europe, notes that the Western Balkans is an important security issue for the UK and that this will not change after Brexit. However, Britain’s ability to shape developments in the region will be affected.
As he explains, the EU has been the single most important factor driving economic, political and social reform in the Western Balkans and leaving the EU will inevitably mean that Britain ceases to have a say on the enlargement process. This in turn will affect the ways the countries of the region perceive the role of the UK.
Commenting on his contribution and the overall findings of the report, Prof Ker-Lindsay said, “After Brexit, there would seem to be limited alternative ways for Britain to exert influence in the Western Balkans. For example, we do not have significant economic ties to the region. I also worry that with the pressure to focus British foreign policy on large trading markets, or areas where Britain has a deeper historical relationship, such as the Commonwealth, the Western Balkans may be overlooked.
“This would be a major mistake as Britain needs to remain engaged in the region and find ways to maintain its influence so it’s good to see that this has been so clearly recognised by the Committee.”