Britain's new foreign minister Philip Hammond has long "strongly supported British-French co-operation", despite being a fierce euroskeptic who opposes any EU role in British defense, said Charles Grant of the CER.
As Lord Kerr, a former permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, explained in an article on Wednesday for the CER, the practical issues about the euro, free movement of people and opt-outs are actually relatively simple.
"Some are very sympathetic to Israel, and some are very unsympathetic," said Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the CER. "That in itself makes it pretty difficult for the EU to be a decisive player."
"Though an admirable starting point in foreign affairs, negotiation without a credible threat of sanctions or force cannot always be the solution," said Mr Grant, citing this as the Achilles’s heel of Berlin’s approach to Russia.