Mexico–United Kingdom relations

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Mexico-United Kingdom relations
Map indicating locations of Mexico and United Kingdom

Mexico

United Kingdom

Mexico–United Kingdom relations refers to the diplomatic relations between the United Mexican States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Country comparison[edit]

Mexico Mexico United Kingdom United Kingdom
Population 120,286,655 63,742,977
Area 1,972,550 km2 (761,606 sq mi) 244,820  km2 (94,526 sq mi )
Population Density 55/km2 (142/sq mi) 246/km2 (637/sq mi)
Capital Mexico City London
Largest City Mexico – 8,841,916 (21,163,226 Metro) London – 7,556,900 (13,945,000 Metro)
Government Federal presidential constitutional republic Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Official languages Spanish (de facto) English (de facto)
GDP (nominal) US$1.845 trillion ($15,600 per capita) US$2.387 trillion ($37,300 per capita)
Mexican British 5,125 Mexican-born people live in the United Kingdom 4,000 British-born people live in Mexico
Military expenditures $5.72 billion (FY 2011) [1] $62.7 billion (FY 2010–11) [2]

History of diplomatic relations[edit]

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Mexican President Felipe Calderón in Davos, 2009

During the colonization of Mexico by Spain between 1519-1821; any form of relations between Mexico and the United Kingdom would have been conducted via-Madrid. After Mexico declared its independence in 1810, the UK was the first European great power to recognize Mexican sovereignty. Soon afterwards, Emperor Agustín de Iturbide sent a diplomatic envoy to London to establish diplomatic communications between the two nations. In 1837, both nations signed a treaty to abolish the slave trade.[3]

In November 1838, Mexico was involved in a brief war with France known as the Pastry War. The UK supported Mexico in its brief war with France and intervened to find a diplomatic solution to end the war. In March 1839, Mexico and France ended their war when Mexico acquiesced to French demands.[4]

In 1861, Mexican President Benito Juarez suspended Mexico's interest payments to its creditors in France, Spain and the UK. This act angered the three nations and in October 1861 the Convention of London was signed by the three nations to send joint navy ships to Mexico as a show of force to demand repayment by the Mexican government. In December 1861 the triple-alliance took the port of Veracruz and nearby towns. After a few months, both the Spanish and British government became evidently aware that Emperor Napoleon III of France was planning to colonize Mexico in order to expand its empire and take advantage of the fact that the United States was involved in its civil war and was not able to implement the Monroe Doctrine. In early 1862, the UK and Spain pulled its forces from Mexico. This intervention would later be known as the Second French intervention in Mexico. In 1864, France installed a puppet emperor in Mexico thus creating the Second Mexican Empire which lasted until 1867 with the assassination of Emperor Maximilian I.

During World War I (1914-1918), Mexico became neutral while involved in its own civil war (1910-1920). In March 1938, the government of President Lázaro Cárdenas expropriated all oil reserves, facilities, and foreign oil companies in Mexico. The British government demanded immediate compensation from the expropriation which the Mexican government refused to pay. As a result, diplomatic relations between the two nations were immediately severed. Soon afterwards, the American and British governments led an international condemnation of the Mexican government and asked the international community to boycott purchasing Mexican products in order to destabilize and crush the Mexican economy.[5]

In May 1942, Mexico declared war on the axis powers during World War II thus officially entering on the side of the allies. As a result of this, diplomatic relations between Mexico and the UK were re-established. Mexico was one of only two Latin-American countries to send soldiers abroad to fight in World War II (the second country being Brazil). In 1944, both nations elevated their diplomatic representations to the level of embassies and Sir Charles Bateman became the first British ambassador in Mexico and Alfonso Rosenzweig Diaz became the first Mexican ambassador to the United Kingdom. After the war, bilateral relations between the two nations normalized and trade re-commenced.[6]

In 1966, the first direct flights between Mexico City and London were inaugurated. In 1973, President Luis Echeverría paid a state visit to the UK. In 1973, Queen Elizabeth II paid an official visit to Mexico in 1975 and again in 1981. That same year, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also visited Mexico. Since then, there have been several high level visits between heads of states of both nations to each other's countries, receptively.[7]

During the Falklands War (April - June 1982), Mexico remained neutral during the conflict, however, it was well known that the Mexican government did not support the military junta in Argentina at the time and secretly supported the UK.[8]

Both nations today are mutual members of the G-20 major economies, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations.

Trade[edit]

In 1997, Mexico signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, of which the United Kingdom is a member of. Since the implementation of the free trade agreement in 2000, trade between the two nations has increased dramatically. In 2011, two-way trade between Mexico and the UK reached over $4 billion USD. Mexico exports to the UK: gold, automobile parts, beer and other electrical equipment. British exports to Mexico include: alcohol, medicine, transistors and various other products. Mexico's trade with the UK amounted to 7.5% of total trade within the EU. Between 1999-2012, British companies invested over $8 billion USD in Mexico and over one thousand British companies have set up shop in Mexico.[9]

Resident diplomatic missions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]