What now for the Iran nuclear deal?

At the beginning of January 2020 Iran announced that it would no longer abide by any of its commitments set down in the nuclear deal (the JCPOA) agreed in 2015. In light of that decision, the UK, Germany and France (the E3), who are signatories to the deal, announced on 14 January that Iran’s non-compliance would be referred to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the JCPOA. What happens next? …

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Revisions to the Political Declaration on the framework for future EU-UK relations

The UK and EU agreed a revised Political Declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship on 17 October. This Briefing provides an outline of the contents of the Declaration and the key changes in the revised text …

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EU Defence: the realisation of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

In November 2017, 23 EU Member States submitted a Joint Notification to the EU Council of Ministers setting out their intention to utilise the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) mechanism to further European defence (CSDP). Ireland and Portugal subsequently joined in early December and a Decision formally launching PESCO was adopted on 11 December 2017. The first 17 capability projects were formally launched in March 2018, with a second tranche of 17 projects agreed in November 2018. The UK did not sign the Joint Notification and will, therefore, remain outside of PESCO. In doing so, the UK has no decision making rights over its governance, its projects, or a veto over its future strategic direction. …

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The European Intervention Initiative (EII/EI2)

The European Intervention Initiative (EII/EI2) is a French-led initiative set out by President Macron in September 2017 as part of his vision for a “sovereign, united and democratic Europe”. In order to achieve that ambition he put forward proposals for a common European intervention force and a common doctrine for action, independent of the European Union. Ten European countries, including the UK, are involved in the initiative. Italy indicated its willingness to join in September 2019. …

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Demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

On 2 August 2019 the United States formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. In place for over 30 years, it was considered a cornerstone of the international arms control architecture as it was the first treaty to eliminate an entire category of weapons from the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia and ended a nuclear stand-off in Europe. What are the implications of its demise for European security and the arms control agenda more broadly? …

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European defence: where is it heading?

In light of Brexit, an increasingly assertive Russia and the unpredictable attitude of the current US administration toward European security, there is, at present. a political appetite for progress in the development of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. Much has been achieved in the last few years and without the UK, which has historically opposed deeper defence integration, Brexit undoubtedly offers opportunities. The question is: how far will the EU at 27 be willing to go? This is an update to earlier versions of this paper published in May 2018 and May 2019.…

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Bishop of Truro’s Review on Persecution of Christians Overseas

A Backbench Business debate on the ‘Bishop of Truro’s Review on Persecution of Christians Overseas’ has been scheduled for Thursday 18 July 2019 in the Main Chamber. The debate has been nominated by the Backbench Business Committee after a representation from Chris Philp MP, Fiona Bruce MP, Jim Shannon MP and David Linden MP.…

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Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and the detention of opponents of the regime

A general debate on ‘Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and the detention of opponents of the regime’ has been scheduled for Thursday 18 July 2019 in Westminster Hall at 1.30pm. The debate has been nominated by the Backbench Business Committee after a representation from Mr Alistair Carmichael MP

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The UK’s EU Withdrawal Agreement

This briefing looks in detail at the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and UK and finalised on 14 November 2018. It was endorsed by EU Member State leaders at a special European Council summit on 25 November and the UK Prime Minister promoted it in the UK Parliament and around the country. The Agreement was debated at length in Parliament on several occasions and has been voted on three times. But the House of Commons has not endorsed it. A second extension of Article 50 took exit day to 31 October 2019, but once again the UK is faced with the possibility of leaving the EU without an agreement if this agreement or another one is not ratified by the UK and the EU. …

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