Volume 2015, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2223-859X
  • EISSN:


Since the Lisbon Treaty's entry into force in 2009, the Common & Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) retains its intergovernmental character, although its legal status is no longer separate from but part of a single European Union (EU) framework. With particular focus on the United Kingdom's practice as a EU member state, this article examines the potential pressures which bear on the interplay between: (i) the CFSP's intergovernmental character; and (ii) the CFSP's current legal status within a single EU framework that established a semblance of institutional coherence; and (iii) the implications for conducting the UK's foreign relations, a consequence of its status at international law as an independent sovereign state. The article argues that pressures arise for the UK because of its legal obligations under UK law, EU law and international law, which potentially interlock, as distinct sources of law, with consequences for the flexible conduct of British foreign relations. This argument is illustrated through the case study of accession by the UK and EU (of which the UK is a member state), two separate legal persons at international law, to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ASEANCFSPEU lawinternational lawtreaty and UK foreign relations
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