With the arrival of each new US president, the incumbent UK prime minster hopes to revitalise the UK–US ‘special relationship’ in defence and security. It has largely been missing in action since the heady days of the Reagan–Thatcher relationship.
The two ISTAR types are expensive but remain some of the most operationally relevant and flexible capabilities in the equipment plan, with a vital role to play in support of the RAF and the wider joint force in both high-intensity warfighting and ongoing low-intensity mission sets.
The agreement governing future relations between the UK and the EU has addressed only some of the serious questions about future security cooperation. Many challenges lie ahead, and goodwill, as well as attention to detail will be required by both sides.
As the UK formulates its post-Brexit relationship with China, one key policy question is how to develop the bilateral commercial relationship most effectively. This requires not just an understanding of the business opportunities, but also of the political and foreign policy backdrop to UK–China relations.