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Committee launch inquiry on foreign policy implications of EU referendum

27 July 2015

Although foreign policy remains primarily a matter for national governments in the European Union, leaving the EU could have significant implications for the UK's alliances and strategic partnerships, standing in other international organisations, soft power and national security. 

To inform public debate in advance of the upcoming referendum on EU membership, the Foreign Affairs Committee will carry out an inquiry into the costs and benefits of EU membership for the UK's foreign policy. The inquiry will consider whether and in what ways EU membership helps or hinders the UK in achieving its foreign policy goals, and how the UK's role on the global stage might change if it votes to leave the EU. The Committee would welcome submissions of evidence which addressed in particular:

  • Whether and how EU collective action helps or hinders the UK in achieving its key foreign policy objectives and/or adds value to UK foreign policy
  • Whether the EU's priorities for its common foreign policy align or conflict with the UK's foreign policy goals, and how influential the FCO and UK Government are in directing EU common action
  • How the UK's standing in multilateral organisations (e.g. the UN, NATO, OSCE and WTO) might change if it were to leave the EU
  • The impact, if any, that leaving the EU would have on the UK's foreign relations including, but not limited to, the transatlantic relationship, the Commonwealth, and relations with  the BRIC countries
  • The extent to which the UK could continue to participate in EU collective action on an ad-hoc basis if it left the EU, and the benefits and drawbacks of such an approach
  • The international legal implications of a UK exit from the EU, including the scope and cost of renegotiating the international treaties to which the UK is a signatory as an EU member state (including the likelihood of securing favourable terms in such negotiations)
  • The foreign policy implications of any changes to trade treaties resulting from a UK withdrawal from the EU
  • The impact on other EU states and EU institutions of UK withdrawal from the EU
  • The implications of leaving the EU for the Union (that is, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and their foreign policy consequences

Deadline for submissions

Written submissions are invited and should be received by the Committee no later than Friday 2 October 2015. 

Further information

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