Download British Foreign Secretaries Since 1974 by Kevin Theakston PDF

By Kevin Theakston

This e-book analyses the altering function of the British overseas Secretary and offers biographical case reviews of all of the person holders of that submit, the guidelines they persued and the problems they confronted, for the reason that 1974. The paintings of the British international Secretaries from James Callaghan to Robin prepare dinner is tested within the context of the overseas policy-making equipment, the altering atmosphere of British international coverage, and the interior and exterior political forces with which that they had to contend. utilizing a biographical case research method, the chapters research the careers, personalities, rules and impact of successive international Secretaries to extend our wisdom and figuring out of the paintings of the govt., and the improvement of British international coverage during the last thirty years. British overseas Secretaries due to the fact 1974 casts gentle at the hitherto shadowy and understudied function of character in diplomacy and on how ten very diverse personalities helped to form the element and the articulation of British international coverage.

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105 Whatever their level of personal interest in foreign affairs (which usually increases over their tenure), Prime Ministers are nowadays institutionally obliged to be deeply and continuously involved – they chair the Cabinet’s main foreign and defence policy committee (see below), have to deal directly with other heads of government, travel abroad almost as frequently as the Foreign Secretary and are caught up in the ceaseless round of international and EU summitry. 106 The increasing inter- The Changing Role of the British Foreign Secretary 29 connectedness of foreign (and particularly EU) policy with domestic policy generates trade-offs and throws up issues which cannot be handled by the Foreign Secretary alone and have to be resolved at prime ministerial level.

Single issue’ MPs from the myriad of all-party groups and committees, often with close ties to lobbyists, ‘will want to see you, in groups or individually’, recalled a former Foreign Secretary, adding that ‘it was a struggle to get them to see a minister of state’. Parliament thus impinges on the life and work of the Foreign Secretary in important ways and, although foreign policy-making is primarily an executive function (resting on Crown prerogative powers), MPs do scrutinise, call ministers to account and have some influence – often indirect and via anticipated reactions.

111 Howe admits that he never relished travelling as Mrs Thatcher’s number two, and it was not easy to be her coadjutor at summit meetings. )112 A successful foreign policy is built on a close understanding and collaboration between a Prime Minister and a Foreign Secretary. 113 It will sooner or later end in tears if their policies or objectives diverge or if the personal chemistry is wrong (or goes wrong). ‘The toughest negotiations any Foreign Secretary has are always with his own Prime Minister’, says Lord (Robin) Renwick, former ambassador to the USA.

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