Issues of low political salience

The offi­cial posi­tion of the British gov­ern­ment is that both Geor­gia and the Ukraine should become mem­bers of NATO, in accor­dance with the con­clu­sions of the NATO min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing of April 2008 and in due course mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union. These ques­tions are not issues of high polit­i­cal salience in the Unit­ed King­dom, although their dis­cus­sion was tem­porar­i­ly enhanced by the events of August, 2008, and the dis­pute on ener­gy pro­vi­sion between Rus­sia and the Ukraine at the turn of the year. British pub­lic opin­ion was divid­ed in its response to these issues, with some com­men­ta­tors at least accus­ing the Geor­gian and Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ments of provoca­tive behaviour.[1] Per­haps for this rea­son, the British gov­ern­ment has not sought to focus pub­lic atten­tion recent­ly on the Euro­pean Union’s rela­tions with its East­ern neigh­bours, a top­ic cer­tain­ly ren­dered less imme­di­ate to British vot­ers by the geo­graph­i­cal remote­ness of these neigh­bours.




[1] See e.g.: Tyran­ny of the red lines, The Guardian, 5 Sep­tem­ber 2008.