London Attack Changes Little in UK Relations With the EU

04.06.2017

The terror attack that struck London on Saturday night, leading to seven deaths and 48 people injured, will not make much of a difference to Britain’s internal situation, Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent at Canterbury and Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) told valdaiclub.com.

“I am not sure that this third event will make that much difference - everyone understood a long time ago that security is indivisible, and that there has to be intelligence-sharing,” Sakwa said regarding the attack’s long-term consequence.

He also added that this attack will not change the UK’s relations with the EU, or change any attitudes in the UK’s political culture.

Britain May Introduce Trump-Style Travel Restrictions After Attack Mary Dejevsky
If it turns out that the attacker was acting in the name of fundamentalist Islam - which has not been confirmed - there could be public and political pressure for the UK to introduce the same sort of restrictions and screening on people coming from mainly Muslim countries as Donald Trump wants to introduce in the US. The British authorities will probably reluctant to go to those lengths, however, partly so as not to give the impression of panic; partly not to alienate British Muslims, but also because the 2005 attackers were home-grown and had not come from abroad.

“Even terrible events like this does not, however, change the fundamental calculus of relations with the EU, once the hard negotiations begin after the election. Also, I am not sure it will lead to legislative change or attitudes,” he added.

Sakwa also noted that unlike previous attacks, this one will not significantly impact the election by tilting it in Prime Minister Theresa May’s favor, and may in fact tilt it toward Jeremy Corbyn.

“As for the election, the expected May bounce after Manchester did not take place; in fact, if anything, it worked to Corbyn's benefit - as the only one talking about deeper causes, policy failures and long-term responses,” Sakwa concluded.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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