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Foreign relations of the United Kingdom

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The diplomatic foreign relations of the United Kingdom are conducted by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, headed by the Foreign Secretary. The prime minister and numerous other agencies play a role in setting policy, and many institutions and businesses have a voice and a role.

The United Kingdom was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, most notably during the so-called "Pax Britannica"—a period of unrivaled supremacy and unprecedented international peace during the mid-to-late 1800s. The country continued to be widely considered a superpower until the Suez crisis of 1956 and the dismantling of the British Empire left the UK's dominant role in global affairs to be gradually diminished. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom remains a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a founding member of the G7, G20, NATO, AUKUS, OECD, WTO, Council of Europe, OSCE, and the Commonwealth of Nations, the latter being a legacy of the British Empire. The UK had been a member state of the European Union (and a member of its predecessors) since 1973. However, due to the outcome of a 2016 membership referendum, proceedings to withdraw from the EU began in 2017 and concluded when the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, and the transition period on 31 December 2020 with an EU trade agreement. Since the vote and the conclusion of trade talks with the EU, policymakers have begun pursuing new trade agreements with other global partners.

History[edit]

The Battle of Nivelle - a Peninsular War battle between the French and the British armies in France in 1813

Following the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain (which united England and Scotland) in 1707, British foreign relations largely continued those of the Kingdom of England. British foreign policy initially focused on achieving a balance of power within Europe, with no one country achieving dominance over the affairs of the continent. This policy remained a major justification for Britain's wars against Napoleon, and for British involvement in the First and Second World Wars. Secondly Britain continued the expansion of its colonial "First British Empire" by migration and investment.

France was the chief enemy until the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. It had a much larger population and a more powerful army, but a weaker navy. The British were generally successful in their many wars. The notable exception, the American War of Independence (1775–1783), saw Britain, without any major allies, defeated by the American colonials who had the support of France, the Netherlands and (indirectly) Spain. A favoured British diplomatic strategy involved subsidising the armies of continental allies (such as Prussia), thereby turning London's enormous financial power to military advantage. Britain relied heavily on its Royal Navy for security, seeking to keep it the most powerful fleet afloat, eventually with a full complement of bases across the globe. British dominance of the seas was vital to the formation and maintaining of the British Empire, which was achieved through the support of a navy larger than the next two largest navies combined, prior to 1920. The British generally stood alone until the early 20th century, when it became friendly with the U.S. and made alliances with Japan, France and Russia and Germany former antagonist now ally.

1814–1914[edit]

Map of the British Empire (as of 1910). At its height, it was the largest empire in history.

The 100 years were generally peaceful--a sort of Pax Britannica enforced by the Royal Navy. There were two important wars, both limited in scope. The Crimean War (1853–1856) saw the defeat of Russia and its threat to the Ottoman Empire. The Second Boer War (1899–1902) saw the defeat of the two Boer republics in South Africa and Boxer Rebellion happen the same year. London became the world's financial centre, and commercial enterprise expanded across the globe. The "Second British Empire" was built with a base in Asia (especially India) and Africa.

First World War[edit]

1920s[edit]

After 1918 Britain was a "troubled giant" that was less of a dominant diplomatic force in the 1920s than before. It often had to give way to the United States, which frequently exercised its financial superiority.[1] The main themes of British foreign policy included a leading role at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919–1920, where Lloyd George worked hard to moderate French demands for revenge on Germany.[2] He was partly successful, but Britain soon had to moderate French policy toward Germany further, as in the Locarno Treaties of 1925.[3][4] Furthermore, Britain obtained "mandates" that allowed it and its dominions to govern most of the former German and Ottoman colonies.[5]

Britain became an active member of the new League of Nations, but its list of major achievements was slight.[6][7]

Disarmament was high on the agenda, and Britain played a major role following the United States in the Washington Naval Conference of 1921 in working toward naval disarmament of the major powers. By 1933 disarmament agreements had collapsed and the issue became rearming for a war against Germany.[8]

Britain was partially successful in negotiating better terms with United States regarding the large war loans which Britain was obliged to repay.[9] Britain supported the international solution to German reparations through the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan. After the Dawes Plan had helped stabilize Germany's currency and lowered its annual payments, Germany was able to pay its annual reparations using money borrowed from New York banks, and Britain used the money received to pay Washington.[10] The Great Depression starting in 1929 put enormous pressure on the British economy. Britain revived Imperial Preference, which meant low tariffs within the British Empire and higher barriers to trade with outside countries. The flow of money from New York dried up, and the system of reparations and payment of debt died in 1931.

In domestic British politics, the emerging Labour Party had a distinctive and suspicious foreign policy based on pacifism. Its leaders believed that peace was impossible because of capitalism, secret diplomacy, and the trade in armaments. Labour stressed material factors that ignored the psychological memories of the Great War and the highly emotional tensions regarding nationalism and the boundaries of countries. Nevertheless, party leader Ramsay MacDonald devoted much of his attention to European policies.[11]

1930s[edit]

Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, and Mussolini pictured before signing the 1938 Munich Agreement, which gave the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.

Vivid memories of the horrors and deaths of the First World War inclined many Britons—and their leaders in all parties—to pacifism in the interwar era. This led directly to the appeasement of dictators (notably of Mussolini and of Hitler) in order to avoid their threats of war.[12]

The challenge came from those dictators, first from Benito Mussolini, Duce of Italy, then from Adolf Hitler, Führer of a much more powerful Nazi Germany. The League of Nations proved disappointing to its supporters; it failed to resolve any of the threats posed by the dictators. British policy involved "appeasing" them in the hopes they would be satiated. By 1938 it was clear that war was looming, and that Germany had the world's most powerful military. The final act of appeasement came when Britain and France sacrificed Czechoslovakia to Hitler's demands at the Munich Agreement of September 1938.[13] Instead of satiation, Hitler menaced Poland, and at last Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain dropped appeasement and stood firm in promising to defend Poland (31 March 1939). Hitler however cut a deal with Joseph Stalin to divide Eastern Europe (23 August 1939); when Germany did invade Poland in September 1939, Britain and France declared war, and the British Commonwealth followed London's lead.[14]

Second World War[edit]

Having signed the Anglo-Polish military alliance in August 1939, Britain and France declared war against Germany in September 1939 in response to Germany's invasion of Poland. This declaration included the Crown colonies and India, which Britain directly controlled. The dominions were independent in foreign policy, though all quickly entered the war against Germany. After the French defeat in June 1940, Britain and its empire stood alone in combat against Germany, until June 1941. The United States gave diplomatic, financial and material support, starting in 1940, especially through Lend Lease, which began in 1941 and attain full strength during 1943. In August 1941, Churchill and Roosevelt met and agreed on the Atlantic Charter, which proclaimed "the rights of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they live" should be respected. This wording was ambiguous and would be interpreted differently by the British, Americans, and nationalist movements.[15]

Starting in December 1941, Japan overran British possessions in Asia, including Hong Kong, Malaya, and especially the key base at Singapore. Japan then marched into Burma, headed toward India. Churchill's reaction to the entry of the United States into the war was that Britain was now assured of victory and the future of the empire was safe, but the rapid defeats irreversibly harmed Britain's standing and prestige as an imperial power. The realisation that Britain could not defend them pushed Australia and New Zealand into permanent close ties with the United States.[16]

Postwar[edit]

Overseas military bases in 2016 (blue) and military interventions since 2000 (red).

Economically in dire straits in 1945 (saddled with debt and dealing with widespread destruction of its infrastructure), Britain systematically reduced its overseas commitments. It pursued an alternate role as an active participant in the Cold War against communism, especially as a founding member of NATO in 1949.[17]

The British had built up a very large worldwide Empire, which peaked in size in 1922, after more than half a century of unchallenged global supremacy. The cumulative costs of fighting two world wars, however, placed a heavy burden upon the home economy, and after 1945 the British Empire rapidly began to disintegrate, with all the major colonies gaining independence. By the mid-to-late 1950s, the UK's status as a superpower was gone in the face of the United States and the Soviet Union. Most former colonies joined the "Commonwealth of Nations", an organisation of fully independent nations now with equal status to the UK. However it attempted no major collective policies.[18][19] The last major colony, Hong Kong, was handed over to China in 1997.[20] Fourteen British Overseas Territories maintain a constitutional link to the UK, but are not part of the country per se.[21]

Britain slashed its involvements in the Middle East after the humiliating Suez Crisis of 1956. However Britain did forge close military ties with the United States, France, and Germany, through the NATO military alliance. After years of debate (and rebuffs), Britain joined the Common Market in 1973; which became the European Union in 1993.[22] However it did not merge financially, and kept the pound separate from the Euro, which partly isolated it from the EU financial crisis of 2011.[23] In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU.[24][25]

21st century[edit]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump at the 45th G7 in Biarritz, August 2019.

Foreign policy initiatives of UK governments since the 1990s have included military intervention in conflicts and for peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance programmes and increased aid spending, support for establishment of the International Criminal Court, debt relief for developing countries, prioritisation of initiatives to address climate change, and promotion of free trade.[26] The British approach has been described as "spread the right norms and sustain NATO".[27]

Lunn et al. (2008) argue:[28]

Three key motifs of Tony Blair's 10-year premiership were an activist philosophy of 'interventionism', maintaining a strong alliance with the US and a commitment to placing Britain at the heart of Europe. While the 'special relationship' and the question of Britain's role in Europe have been central to British foreign policy since the Second World War...interventionism was a genuinely new element.

The GREAT campaign of 2012 was one of the most ambitious national promotion efforts ever undertaken by any major nation. It was scheduled take maximum advantage of the worldwide attention to the Summer Olympics in London. The goals were to make British more culture visible in order to stimulate trade, investment and tourism. The government partnered with key leaders in culture, business, diplomacy and education. The campaign unified many themes and targets, including business meetings; scholarly conventions; recreational vehicle dealers; parks and campgrounds; convention and visitors bureaus; hotels; bed and breakfast inns; casinos; and hotels.[29][30]

In 2013, the government of David Cameron described its approach to foreign policy by saying:[31]

For any given foreign policy issue, the UK potentially has a range of options for delivering impact in our national interest. ... [W]e have a complex network of alliances and partnerships through which we can work.... These include – besides the EU – the UN and groupings within it, such as the five permanent members of the Security Council (the “P5”); NATO; the Commonwealth; the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development; the G8 and G20 groups of leading industrialised nations; and so on.

The UK began establishing air and naval facilities in the Persian Gulf, located in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman in 2014–15.[32][33][34][35] The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 highlighted a range of foreign policy initiatives of the UK government.[36][37] Edward Longinotti notes how current British defence policy is grappling with how to accommodate two major commitments, to Europe and to an ‘east of Suez’ global military strategy, within a modest defence budget that can only fund one. He points out that Britain's December 2014 agreement to open a permanent naval base in Bahrain underlines its gradual re-commitment east of Suez.[38] By some measures, Britain remains the second most powerful country in the world by virtue of its soft power and "logistical capability to deploy, support and sustain [military] forces overseas in large numbers."[39] Although commentators have questioned the need for global power projection,[40] the concept of “Global Britain” put forward by the Conservative government in 2019 signalled more military activity in the Middle East and Pacific, outside of NATO's traditional sphere of influence.[41][42]

At the end of January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union, with a subsequent trade agreement with the EU in effect from 1 January 2021, setting out the terms of the UK-EU economic relationship and what abilities the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office can use in foreign relations related to trade.

Major international disputes since 1945[edit]

British street patrol in Aden in 1967
A Lynx Helicopter of the British Army Air Corps ready to touch down on a desert road south of Basra Airport, November 2003
from to dispute
1946 1949 Involved in Greek Civil War
1945 1948 Administration of the Mandate for Palestine, ending with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. British forces often faced conflict with Arab nationalists and Jewish Zionist militia.
1947 1991 Cold War with Soviet Union
1948 1949 Berlin Blockade – dispute with USSR over access to West Berlin and general Soviet expansionism in Eastern Europe[43]
1948 1960 Malayan Emergency – armed conflict against the politically isolated Communist forces of the Malayan National Liberation Army
1950 1953 Korean War – war with North Korea
1951 1954 Abadan Crisis – dispute with Iran over expropriated oil assets
1956 1957 Suez Crisis – armed conflict with Egypt over its seizure of the Suez Canal Zone, and unsupported by most of the international community
1958 First Cod War – fishing dispute with Iceland
1962 1966 Konfrontasi – war with Indonesia
1972 1973 Second Cod War – fishing dispute with Iceland
1975 1976 Third Cod War – fishing dispute with Iceland[44]
1982 Falklands War – war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands and other British south Atlantic territories
1983 Condemnation of the United States over its invasion of Grenada[45]
1984 Dispute with Libya after a policewoman is shot dead in London by a gunman from within the Libyan embassy, and considerable Libyan support for the IRA in Northern Ireland.
1988 Dispute with Libya over the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over the Scottish town of Lockerbie[46]
1991 Gulf War with Iraq[47]
1995 Under UN mandate, military involvement in former Yugoslavia (specifically Bosnia)
1997 Hong Kong handover to Chinese rule. Britain secures guarantees for a "special status" that would continue capitalism and protect existing British property.[48]
1999 Involvement in NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia over Kosovo
2000 British action in saving the UN peacekeeping force from collapse and defeating the anti-government rebellion during the Sierra Leone Civil War
2001 UN-sponsored war against, and subsequent occupation of, Afghanistan
2003 2007 Collaboration with US and others in war against, and occupation of, Iraq; over 46,000 British troops subsequently occupy Basra and southern Iraq
2007 ongoing Diplomatic dispute with Russia over the death of Alexander Litvinenko[49]
2009 ongoing Dispute with Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons programme, including sanctions and Iranian condemnation of the British government, culminating in a 2011 attack on the British Embassy in Iran
2011 Under UN mandate, UK armed forces participated in enforcing the Libyan No-Fly Zone as part of Operation Ellamy[50]
2013 Support for French forces in the Malian civil war
2015 Support for the US-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
2016 UN and EU implement a deal with Iran intended to prevent the country gaining access to nuclear weapons[51]
2018 ongoing Sanctions on Russia following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal using a nerve agent in Salisbury, England included the expulsions of 23 diplomats, the largest ever since the Cold War, an act that was retaliated by Russia
2019 ongoing The sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago is disputed between the United Kingdom and Mauritius. An advisory ruling by International Court of Justice in The Hague found that "the islands were not lawfully separated from the former colony of Mauritius",[52] a view endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly
2019 The UK seized an Iranian oil tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar on the grounds that it was shipping oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. Iran later captured a British oil tanker and its crew members in the Persian Gulf.[53]
2022 ongoing The UK provided support and equipment to Ukraine after its invasion by Russia, which declared the United Kingdom an unfriendly country after the UK strongly supported international sanctions against Russia

Sovereignty disputes[edit]

Gibraltar National Day celebrations in 2013

Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

Members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The UK has varied relationships with the countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations which originated from the British Empire. Charles III of the United Kingdom is Head of the Commonwealth and is King of 15 of its 56 member states. Those that retain the King as head of state are called Commonwealth realms. Over time several countries have been suspended from the Commonwealth for various reasons. Zimbabwe was suspended because of the authoritarian rule of its President.[57]

Diplomatic relations[edit]

British diplomatic relations date back to the 13th century.[58] The United Kingdom has established diplomatic relations with all United Nations members, aside from Bhutan, in addition to 3 Non-UN states: the Cook Islands, Holy See, and Kosovo. The following table lists the date from which diplomatic relations were established with foreign countries:

List of diplomatic relations and dates established
Country Date Ref.
 Portugal 9 May 1386 [59]
 France 1396 [60]
 Denmark 2 May 1490 [61]
 Spain 1505 [62]
 Russia 20 April 1566 [63]
 Netherlands 1 April 1603 [63]
 Sweden 23 December 1653 [63]
  Switzerland 30 August 1689 [64]
 United States 1 June 1785 [65]
 Iran 4 January 1801 [66]
 Austria 27 August 1814 [67]
   Nepal 4 March 1816 [68]
 Chile 14 September 1823 [69]
 Peru 10 October 1823 [70]
 Colombia 18 April 1825 [71]
 Argentina 12 May 1825 [72]
 Mexico 26 December 1826 [73]
 Brazil 17 August 1827 [74]
 Belgium 1 December 1830 [75]
 Greece 1 January 1833 [76]
 Venezuela 29 October 1834 [77]
 Serbia 30 January 1837 [78]
 Guatemala 12 July 1837 [79]
 Bolivia 29 September 1840 [80]
 Ethiopia 1841 [81]
 Uruguay 15 July 1842 [82]
 Costa Rica 28 February 1848 [83]
 Honduras 16 June 1849 [84]
 Liberia 1 August 1849 [85]
 Dominican Republic 6 March 1850 [86]
 Ecuador 29 January 1853 [87]
 Paraguay 2 November 1853 [88]
 Thailand 18 April 1855 [89]
 Japan 26 August 1858 [90]
 Nicaragua 18 January 1859 [91]
 Italy 13 April 1859 [92]
 Haiti 13 May 1859 [93]
 Bulgaria 23 July 1879 [94]
 Luxembourg 27 November 1879 [95]
 Romania 20 February 1880 [96]
 El Salvador 1883 [97]
 Cuba 20 May 1902 [98]
 Norway 6 November 1905 [99]
 Panama 9 April 1908 [100]
 Egypt 19 December 1914 [101]
 Finland 28 March 1918 [102]
 Poland 15 July 1919 [103]
 Czech Republic 3 September 1919 [104]
 Hungary 22 May 1921 [105]
 Albania 9 November 1921 [106]
 Afghanistan 22 November 1921 [107]
 Ireland 6 December 1922 [108]
 Turkey 2 September 1924 [109]
 Canada 1 July 1926 [110]
 Saudi Arabia 20 May 1927 [111]
 South Africa 17 March 1931 [112]
 Iraq 4 October 1932 [113]
 Australia March 1936 [114]
 New Zealand March 1939 [114]
 Iceland 8 May 1940 [115]
 Lebanon 9 February 1942 [116]
 Syria 9 February 1942 [116]
 Jordan 17 June 1946 [117]
 Philippines 4 July 1946 [118]
 Sri Lanka 22 October 1946 [119]
 Myanmar 7 July 1947 [120]
 India 14 August 1947 [117]
 Pakistan 14 August 1947 [117]
 South Korea 18 January 1949 [121]
 Israel 14 May 1949 [117]
 Indonesia 27 December 1949 [122]
 Germany 20 June 1951 [123]
 Yemen 24 October 1951 [124]
 Libya 24 December 1951 [117]
 Cambodia 15 May 1952 [125]
 China 17 June 1954 [126]
 Laos 5 September 1955 [127]
 Sudan 3 March 1956 [128]
 Tunisia 19 June 1956 [117]
 Morocco 28 June 1956 [117]
 Ghana 6 March 1957 [117]
 Malaysia 31 August 1957 [129]
 Guinea 28 May 1959 [130]
 Cameroon 1 February 1960 [117]
 Togo 27 April 1960 [117]
 Madagascar 27 June 1960 [131]
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 7 July 1960 [132]
 Somalia 7 July 1960 [133]
 Cyprus 16 August 1960 [117]
 Senegal 20 August 1960 [117]
 Nigeria 1 October 1960 [134]
 Benin 6 October 1960 [135]
 Burkina Faso 6 October 1960 [135]
 Niger 6 October 1960 [135]
 Ivory Coast 12 October 1960 [136]
 Mauritania 28 November 1960 [137]
 Chad 9 December 1960 [135]
 Central African Republic 9 December 1960 [135]
 Republic of the Congo 9 December 1960 [135]
 Gabon 9 December 1960 [135]
 Mali 22 March 1961 [117]
 Sierra Leone April 1961 [117]
 Kuwait 8 November 1961 [117]
 Burundi 1 July 1962 [138]
 Rwanda 1 July 1962 [117]
 Jamaica 6 August 1962 [117]
 Trinidad and Tobago 31 August 1962 [117]
 Uganda 9 October 1962 [139]
 Algeria 16 November 1962 [140]
 Mongolia 23 January 1963 [141]
 Kenya 12 December 1963 [142]
 Tanzania 22 April 1964 [143]
 Malawi 6 July 1964 [117]
 Malta 21 September 1964 [117]
 Zambia 17 October 1964 [117]
 Gambia 1 January 1965 [117]
 Maldives 26 July 1965 [144]
 Singapore 12 November 1965 [145]
 Guyana 26 May 1966 [146]
 Botswana 30 September 1966 [117]
 Barbados 30 November 1966 [147]
 Lesotho 4 October 1966 [117]
 Mauritius 12 March 1968 [117]
 Eswatini 6 September 1968 [117]
 Equatorial Guinea 20 June 1969 [148]
 Tonga 4 June 1970 [149]
 Samoa September 1970 [150]
 Fiji 10 October 1970 [151]
 Oman 21 May 1971 [149]
 Bahrain 21 August 1971 [152]
 Qatar 6 September 1971 [153]
 United Arab Emirates 2 December 1971 [154]
 Bangladesh 18 April 1972 [149]
 Bahamas 7 July 1973 [149]
 Vietnam 11 September 1973 [155]
 Grenada 7 February 1974 [149]
 Guinea-Bissau 12 March 1975 [149]
 Mozambique 1 September 1975 [156]
 Papua New Guinea 16 September 1975 [157]
 Suriname 31 March 1976 [158]
 Seychelles June 1976 [159]
 Cape Verde 17 May 1977 [160]
 Comoros 3 October 1977 [161]
 Angola 14 October 1977 [162]
 Nauru 1 December 1977 [149]
 Djibouti 25 January 1978 [149]
 Solomon Islands 7 July 1978 [163]
 Tuvalu 1 October 1978 [149]
 Dominica 13 December 1978 [164]
 Saint Lucia 22 February 1979 [149]
 Kiribati 12 July 1979 [149]
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27 October 1979 [149]
 São Tomé and Príncipe 3 December 1979 [149]
 Zimbabwe 18 April 1980 [149]
 Vanuatu 30 July 1980 [149]
 Belize 21 September 1981 [165]
 Antigua and Barbuda 1 November 1981 [149]
 Holy See 16 January 1982 [166]
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983 [167]
 Brunei 14 March 1984 [168]
 Namibia March 1990 [169]
 Lithuania 4 September 1991 [170]
 Estonia 5 September 1991 [171]
 Latvia 5 September 1991 [172]
 Ukraine 10 January 1992 [173]
 Tajikistan 15 January 1992 [174]
 Moldova 17 January 1992 [175]
 Slovenia 17 January 1992 [176]
 Kazakhstan 19 January 1992 [177]
 Armenia 20 January 1992 [178]
 Turkmenistan 23 January 1992 [179]
 Belarus 27 January 1992 [180]
 Marshall Islands 2 February 1992 [181]
 Uzbekistan 18 February 1992 [182]
 Azerbaijan 11 March 1992 [183]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 13 April 1992 [184]
 Georgia 27 April 1992 [185]
 Liechtenstein May 1992 [186]
 Croatia 24 June 1992 [187]
 Kyrgyzstan 12 June 1992 [188]
 Federated States of Micronesia 31 August 1992 [189]
 Slovakia 1 January 1993 [190]
 Eritrea 16 November 1993 [191]
 North Macedonia 16 December 1993 [192]
 Andorra 9 March 1994 [193]
 Palau 16 August 1996 [194]
 Cook Islands 4 December 1997 [195]
 San Marino 18 November 1998 [196]
 North Korea 12 December 2000 [197]
 East Timor 20 May 2002 [198]
 Montenegro 13 June 2006 [199]
 Monaco 21 September 2007 [200]
 Kosovo 18 February 2008 [201]
 South Sudan 9 July 2011 [202]

Bilateral relations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Since Notes
 Algeria 1962 See Foreign relations of Algeria
 Angola 1977 See Foreign relations of Angola

The UK established diplomatic relations with Angola on 14 October 1977.[162]

  • Angola maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Angola through its embassy in Luanda.[203]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a High Level Prosperity Partnership.[205]

 Benin 1960 See Foreign relations of Benin

The UK established diplomatic relations with Benin on 6 October 1960, then known as Dahomey.[135]

  • Benin does not maintain an embassy in the United Kingdom.
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to Benin through an embassy.[206]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[207] and the World Trade Organization.

 Botswana 1966 See Botswana–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Botswana on 30 September 1966.[117]

The UK governed Botswana from 1885 to 1966, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth and the World Trade Organization, as well as the SACUM–UK Economic Partnership Agreement.[210]

 Burkina Faso 1960 See Foreign relations of Burkina Faso

The UK established diplomatic relations with Burkina Faso on 6 October 1960, then known as Upper Volta.[135]

  • Burkina Faso does not maintain an embassy in the United Kingdom.
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to Burkina Faso through an embassy.[211]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Burundi 1962 See Foreign relations of Burundi

The UK established diplomatic relations with Burundi on 1 July 1962.[138]

  • Burundi maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Burundi through its embassy office in Bujumbura.[212]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Central African Republic 1960 See Foreign relations of the Central African Republic

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Central African Republic on 9 December 1960.[135]

  • The Central African Republic does not maintain an embassy in the UK.
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to the Central African Republic through an embassy; the UK develops relations through its embassy in Kinshasa, DR Congo.[213][214]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Chad 1960 See Foreign relations of Chad

The UK established diplomatic relations with Chad on 9 December 1960.[135]

  • Chad does not maintain an embassy in the UK.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Chad through its embassy in N'Djamena.[215]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960 See Democratic Republic of the Congo–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 7 July 1960.[132]

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to the Democratic Republic of the Congo through its embassy in Kinshasa.[214]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Djibouti 1978 See Foreign relations of Djibouti

The UK established diplomatic relations with Djibouti on 25 January 1978.[149]

  • Djibouti does not maintain an embassy in the UK.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Djibouti through its embassy in Djibouti.[217]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Egypt 1922 See Egypt–United Kingdom relations

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Equatorial Guinea 1969 See Foreign relations of Equatorial Guinea

The UK established diplomatic relations with Equatorial Guinea on 20 June 1969.[148]

  • Equatorial Guinea closed its embassy in London.[218]
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to Equatorial Guinea through an embassy.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact.[204]

 Eswatini 1968 See Foreign relations of Eswatini

The UK established diplomatic relations with Eswatini on 6 September 1968.[117]

  • Eswatini maintains a high commission in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Eswatini through its high commission in Mbabane.[219]

The UK governed Eswatini from 1903 to 1968, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth and the World Trade Organization, as well as the SACUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement.[210]

 Ethiopia 1841 See Ethiopia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia in 1841.[81]

  • Ethiopia maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Ethiopia through its embassy in Addis Ababa.[220]

The UK administered Ethiopia from 1941 to 1942. The UK continued to administered the regions of Ogaden and Haud from 1941, until both territories were relinquished to Ethiopia in 1948 and 1955 respectively.[221]

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Gabon 1960 See Foreign relations of Gabon

The UK established diplomatic relations with Gabon on 9 December 1960.[135]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization.

 Ghana 1957 See Ghana–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Ghana on 6 March 1957.[117]

The UK governed Ghana from 1821 to 1957, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] an Economic Partnership Agreement,[225] and a High Level Prosperity Partnership.[205]

 Guinea 1959 See Foreign relations of Guinea

The UK established diplomatic relations with Guinea on 28 May 1959.[130]

  • Guinea maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Guinea through its embassy in Conakry.[226]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization.

 Guinea-Bissau 1975 See Foreign relations of Guinea-Bissau

The UK established diplomatic relations with Guinea on 12 March 1975.[149]

  • Guinea-Bissau does not maintain an embassy in the United Kingdom.
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to Guinea-Bissau through an embassy.[227]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Ivory Coast 1960 See Foreign relations of Ivory Coast

The UK established diplomatic relations with Ivory Coast on 12 October 1960.[136]

  • Ivory Coast maintains an embassy in London.[228]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Ivory Coast through its embassy in Abidjan.[229]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Economic Partnership Agreement,[230] and a High Level Prosperity Partnership.[205]

 Kenya 1963 See Kenya–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Kenya on 12 December 1963.[142]

The UK governed Kenya from 1895 to 1963, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have an Economic Partnership Agreement,[233] and a Development Partnership.[216]

 Liberia 1849 See Liberia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Liberia on 1 August 1849.[85]

  • Liberia maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Liberia through its embassy in Monrovia.[234]

The United Kingdom was the first country to recognise the independence of Liberia.[235] Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization.

 Libya See Libya–United Kingdom relations
 Malawi 1964 See Malawi–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Malawi on 6 July 1964.[117]

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Mali 1961 See Foreign relations of Mali

The UK established diplomatic relations with Mali on 22 March 1961.[117]

  • Mali does not maintain an embassy in the United Kingdom.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Mali through its embassy in Bamako.[237]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Mauritania 1960 See Foreign relations of Mauritania

The UK established diplomatic relations with Mauritania on 28 November 1960.[137]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Morocco 1956 See Morocco–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Morocco on 28 June 1956.[117]

  • Morocco maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Morocco through its embassy in Rabat.[240]

Bilateral relations between Morocco and the UK date back to the early 1200s.[241]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization. Both countries signed an Association Agreement on 26 October 2019.[242]

 Mozambique 1975 See Mozambique–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Mozambique on 1 September 1975.[156]

  • Mozambique maintains a high commission in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Mozambique through its high commission in Maputo.[243]

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the SACUM–UK Economic Partnership Agreement.[210] Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a High Level Prosperity Partnership.[205]

 Namibia 1990 See Namibia–United Kingdom relations
 Niger 1960 See Foreign relations of Niger

The UK established diplomatic relations with Niger on 6 October 1960.[135]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Republic of the Congo 1960 See Foreign relations of the Republic of the Congo

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Congo on 9 December 1960.[135]

  • The Republic of the Congo maintains an embassy in London.[246]
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to the Republic of the Congo through an embassy.[247]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization.

 Rwanda 1962 See Rwanda–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Rwanda on 1 July 1962.[117]

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a Migration and Economic Development Partnership.[249]

 São Tomé and Príncipe 1979 See Foreign relations of São Tomé and Príncipe

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact.[250]

 Senegal 1960 See Foreign relations of Senegal

The UK established diplomatic relations with Senegal on 20 June 1960.[117]

  • Senegal maintains an embassy in London.[251]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Senegal through its embassy in Dakar.[252]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization.

 Sierra Leone 1961 See Foreign relations of Sierra Leone

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact.[253]

 Somalia 1960 See Somalia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Somalia on 7 July 1960.[133]

  • Somalia does not maintain an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Somalia through its embassy in Mogadishu.[254]

The UK governed Somaliland from 1884–1940 and 1941–1960, Somaliland achieved full independence on 26 June 1960. The UK also administered the remaining territory of modern Somalia from 1941–1950, until it became an Italian Trust Territory. Both of these territories unified on the 1 July 1960 to become Somalia.

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Somaliland N/A See Somaliland–United Kingdom relations

The UK has not established diplomatic relations with Somaliland; the UK does not recognise Somaliland to be a sovereign nation.

  • Somaliland maintains a diplomatic mission in London.
  • The United Kingdom does not have a diplomatic mission in Somaliland.

On 4 July 2023, Gavin Williamson proposed a bill to the UK Parliament that would invoke the UK to recognise the Republic of Somaliland.[255]

The UK governed Somaliland from 1884–1940 and 1941–1960, Somaliland achieved full independence on 26 June 1960. The Republic of Somaliland declared independence from Somalia on 18 May 1991.

 South Africa 1927 See South Africa–United Kingdom relations

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Sudan 1956 See Sudan–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Sudan on 3 March 1956.[128]

The UK governed Sudan from 1899 to 1956, when Sudan achieved full independence.[259]

 Tanzania 1964 See Tanzania–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Tanzania on 22 April 1964.[143]

The UK governed Tanganyika from 1916 to 1961, when Tanganyika achieved full independence; the UK governed Zanzibar from 1890 to 1963, when Zanzibar achieved full independence. Both countries unified on 26 April 1964 to become Tanzania.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a High Level Prosperity Partnership.[205]

 Togo 1960 See Foreign relations of Togo

The UK established diplomatic relations with Togo on 27 April 1960.[117]

  • Togo maintains a high commission in London.
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to Togo through a high commission; the UK develops relations through its high commission in Accra, Ghana.[261]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization.

 Uganda 1962 See Uganda–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Uganda on 9 October 1962.[139]

The UK governed Uganda from 1894 to 1962, when Uganda achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Zambia 1960 See United Kingdom–Zambia relations

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Zimbabwe 1980 See United Kingdom–Zimbabwe relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980.[149]

  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Zimbabwe through its embassy in Harare.[264]
  • Zimbabwe maintains an embassy in London.

The UK governed Zimbabwe from 1923 to 1980, when Zimbabwe achieved full independence under the Lancaster House Agreement.

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization, as well as the Eastern and Southern Africa-UK Economic Partnership Agreement.[265]

Asia[edit]

Country Since Notes
 Afghanistan 1921 See Afghanistan–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Afghanistan on 22 November 1921.[107] The UK currently recognises the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan government, over the de facto Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan government, as the legal administrator of the country.

The UK governed Afghanistan from 18791919, until Afghanistan achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Armenia 1992 See Armenia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Armenia on 20 January 1992.[178]

  • Armenia maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Armenia through its embassy in Yerevan.[267]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have an Investment Agreement.[268]

 Azerbaijan 1992 See Azerbaijan–United Kingdom relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in London.[269]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Baku.[270]

Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

 Bahrain 1971 See Bahrain–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Bahrain on 21 August 1971.[152]

  • Bahrain maintains an embassy in London.[271]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Bahrain through its embassy in Manama.[272]

The UK governed Bahrain from 1861 to 1971, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. The UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Bahrain is a member, are negotiating a free trade agreement.

 Bhutan N/A See Foreign relations of Bhutan

The UK has not established diplomatic relations with Bhutan; the UK does recognise Bhutan to be a sovereign nation.

  • The UK is accredited to Bhutan through its deputy high commission in Kolkata, India.[273]

Relations between Bhutan and the UK date back to the 18th Century[274]

 Brunei 1984 See Brunei–United Kingdom relations

In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate, gaining its independence from British rule 96 years later in 1984.

The UK and Brunei have a long-standing and strong bilateral relationship, particularly on defense co-operation, trade and education. The UK continues to play a strong role in developing Brunei's oil and gas sector, and the Brunei Investment Agency is a significant investor in the UK, with their largest overseas operations in the City of London. The UK remains the destination of choice for Bruneian students, with about 1,220 of them enrolled in higher education in the UK in 2006–07.

The United Kingdom has a high commission in Bandar Seri Begawan, and Brunei has a high commission in London. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

 Cambodia 1952 See Cambodia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Cambodia on 5 May 1952.[125]

The UK broke off diplomatic relations with Cambodia in 1975, following the Fall of Phnom Penh; diplomatic relations were restored in 1991.[277]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 China 1954 See China–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China on 17 June 1954.[126]

The UK governed the territories of Hong Kong, from 1841 to 1941 and 1945 to 1997, as well as Weihaiwei from 1898 to 1930.

Both countries share common membership of the G20, the UNSC P5, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

 Cyprus 1960 See Cyprus–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Cyprus on 16 August 1960.[117]

  • Cyprus maintains a high commission in London, and honorary consulates in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Dunblane, Glasgow, and Leeds.[279]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Cyprus through its high commission in Nicosia.[280]

The UK governed Cyprus from 1878 until 1960, when it achieved full independence.

The UK is a "guarantor power" of Cyprus's independence. The UK maintains the two sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the island of Cyprus.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 East Timor 2002 See Foreign relations of East Timor

The UK established diplomatic relations with East Timor on 20 May 2002.[198]

  • East Timor maintains an embassy in London.[281]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to East Timor from its embassy in Jakarta; there is no British embassy in East Timor.[282] On 29 February 2024, the UK announced its intentions to re-open an embassy in Dili.[283]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Georgia 1992 See Georgia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Georgia on 27 April 1992.[185]

  • Georgia maintains an embassy in London.[284]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Georgia through its embassy in Tbilisi.[285]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. The two countries also have a free trade agreement.[286]

 Hong Kong N/A See Hong Kong–United Kingdom relations

The UK established modern diplomatic relations with Hong Kong on 1 July 1997.

Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841–1997, apart from a period of Japanese occupation from 1941–1945. Hong Kong's sovereignty was transferred to the People's Republic of China in 1997.

Both territories share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 India 1947 See India–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with India on 14 August 1947.[117]

The UK governed the India from 1858 to 1947, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, G20, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.[288] Additionally the two are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement and an Investment Agreement.[290]

 Indonesia 1949 See Indonesia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Indonesia on 27 December 1949.[122]

Both countries share common membership of the G20, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Iran 1801 See Iran–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Iran on 4 January 1801.[66]

 Iraq 1932 See Iraq–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Iraq on 4 October 1932.[113]

  • Iraq maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Iraq through its embassy in Baghdad.[294]

The UK governed Iraq from 1921 until 1932, when it achieved full independence.

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a Strategic Partnership.[295]

 Israel 1948 See Israel–United Kingdom relations

The United Kingdom has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consul in Eilat.[296] Israel has an embassy and a consulate in London. The UK's closest partner in the Middle East is Israel, and Israel's closest partner in Europe is the UK.[297][298]

 Japan 1854 See Japan–United Kingdom relations

Contact began in 1600 with the arrival of William Adams (Adams the Pilot, Miura Anjin) on the shores of Kyūshū at Usuki in Ōita Prefecture. During the Sakoku period (1641–1853) there were no relations. but with the impact of Industrial Revolution, British thread company launched its business in 1907 and thrived. The treaty of 1854 saw the resumption of ties which, despite the hiatus of the Second World War, remain very strong in the present day.

 Kazakhstan 1992 See Kazakhstan–United Kingdom relations

The United Kingdom opened an embassy in Kazakhstan in October 1992 and Kazakhstan opened an embassy in Britain in February 1996.[299] Kazakhstan's relations with the West have greatly improved in the last few years as the Government has closely cooperated in the United States-led War on Terror. See also Counter-terrorism in Kazakhstan

Britain is the third-largest foreign investor in Kazakhstan with British companies making up 14 per cent of foreign direct investment. Over 100 British companies do business in Kazakhstan.[300]

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Kyrgyzstan 1992 See Kyrgyzstan–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Kyrgyzstan on 12 June 1992.[188]

  • Kyrgyzstan maintains an embassy in London.
  • The UK is accredited to Kyrgyzstan through its embassy in Bishkek.[301]

Both countries share common membership of the OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Laos 1955 See Foreign relations of Laos

The UK established diplomatic relations with Laos on 5 September 1955.[127]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Macao N/A See Foreign relations of Macao

There is no British Embassy in Macao. The Consulate-General in Hong Kong develops and maintains relations between the UK and Macao.[303]

 Malaysia 1957 See Malaysia–United Kingdom relations
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a carriage with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on the state visit to London, 1974

The UK established diplomatic relations with Malaysia on 31 August 1957.[129]

The UK governed the Malaysia from 1826 to 1942 and 1945 to 1957, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, CPTPP, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and the World Trade Organization.

 Maldives 1965 See Foreign relations of the Maldives

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Maldives on 26 July 1965.[144]

The UK governed the Maldives from 1796 to 1965, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. The two countries are currently negotiating a free trade agreement.[308]

 Myanmar 1947 See Myanmar–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Myanmar on 7 July 1947.[120]

  • Myanmar maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Myanmar through its embassy in Yangon.[309]

The UK governed Myanmar from 1824–1948, aside from a period of Japanese occupation from 1942–1945, it achieved full independence.[310]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

   Nepal 1816 See Nepal–United Kingdom relations

Relations between the UK and Nepal have historically been friendly and there have been close links between the Royal Families. The UK is highly regarded in Nepal as a result of historical ties, development assistance and long-term support in the struggle for democratic peace in Nepal.

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 North Korea 2000 See North Korea–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with North Korea on 12 December 2000.[197]

 Oman 1971 See Oman–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Oman on 21 May 1971.[149]

  • Oman maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Oman through its embassy in Muscat.[313]

The UK governed Oman from 1891 until 1951, when Oman achieved full independence.[314]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. The UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Oman is a member, are negotiating a free trade agreement.

 Pakistan 1947 See Pakistan–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Pakistan on 14 August 1947.[117]

The UK governed Pakistan from 1824 to 1947, as part of the British Raj which also included modern day India and Bangladesh, until it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Palestine N/A See Palestine–United Kingdom relations

The United Kingdom maintains a consulate in Jerusalem which handles British relations with the Palestinian Authority.[317] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office states the "Consular district covers Jerusalem (West and East), the West Bank and Gaza. As well as work on the Middle East Peace Process and other political issues, the consulate also promotes trade between the UK and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and manages an extensive programme of aid and development work. The latter is undertaken primarily by the DFID office in Jerusalem.".[317]

The Palestinian Authority is represented in London by Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian General Delegate to the United Kingdom.[317]

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Philippines 1946 See Philippines–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Philippines on 4 July 1946.[118]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Qatar 1971 See Qatar–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Qatar on 6 September 1971.[153]

  • Qatar maintains an embassy in London.[319]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Qatar through its embassy in Doha.[320]

The UK governed Qatar from 1916 to 1971, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a security pact,[321] and a strategic investment partnership.[322] The UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Qatar is a member, are negotiating a free trade agreement.

 Saudi Arabia 1927 See Saudi Arabia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia on 20 May 1927.[111]

  • Saudi Arabia maintains an embassy in London.[323]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Saudi Arabia through its embassy in Riyadh, as well as a consulate general in Jeddah.[324]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. The UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Saudi Arabia is a member, are negotiating a free trade agreement.

 Singapore 1965 See Singapore–United Kingdom relations

Singapore and the United Kingdom share a friendly relationship since Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom in 1959. Singapore retained the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the final court of appeal up till 1989 (fully abolished in 1994) due to political reasons.

 South Korea 1949 See South Korea–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with South Korea in 18 January 1949.[121]

  • South Korea maintains a embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to South Korea through its embassy in Seoul.[325]

Both countries share common membership of the G20, OECD, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have the Downing Street Accord,[326] and a Free Trade Agreement.[327]

 Sri Lanka 1948 See Sri Lanka–United Kingdom relations
 Syria 1942 See Syria–United Kingdom relations

In 2001, positive relations were developed between Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Syrian government, as part of the War on Terror. Since the 2011 civil war, relations have deteriorated, and the UK was one of the first countries to recognise the opposition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Taiwan N/A See Taiwan–United Kingdom relations

The UK has not established formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan; the UK does not recognise Taiwan to be a sovereign nation.

In 1950, the UK switched its recognition from the Republic of China (ROC) to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).[328]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Tajikistan 1992 See Foreign relations of Tajikistan

The UK established diplomatic relations with Tajikistan on 15 January 1992.[174]

Both countries share common membership of the OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 Thailand 1855 See Thailand–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Thailand on 18 April 1855.[89]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Turkey 1924 See Turkey–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Turkey on 2 September 1924.[109]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a free trade agreement.[335]

 Turkmenistan 1992 See Foreign relations of Turkmenistan

The UK established diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan on 23 January 1992.[179]

Both countries share common membership of the OSCE. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership.[216]

 United Arab Emirates 1971 See United Arab Emirates–United Kingdom relations
  • The UAE has an embassy in London.
  • The UK maintains an embassy in Abu Dhabi and is unique in having another Embassy in Dubai.
  • The UAE-UK relations have been described as a "special relationship".
  • Queen Elizabeth II has visited the UAE 2 times.
  • 100,000 British citizens live in the UAE.
 Uzbekistan 1992 See United Kingdom–Uzbekistan relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan on 18 February 1992.[182]

  • Uzbekistan maintains an embassy in London.[338]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Uzbekistan through its embassy in Tashkent.[339]

Both countries share common membership of the OSCE. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.[340]

 Vietnam 1973 See United Kingdom–Vietnam relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Vietnam on 11 September 1973.[155]

  • The UK is accredited to Vietnam through its embassy in Hanoi.[341]
  • Vietnam maintains an embassy in London.[342]

The UK occupied Southern Vietnam and Saigon from 1945–1946.

Both countries share common membership of CPTPP, and the World Trade Organization. The UK and Vietnam entered into a strategic partnership agreement in 2010.[343] The UK and Vietnam have a United Kingdom–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.[344]

Europe[edit]

Country Since Notes
 Albania 1921 See Albania–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Albania on 9 November 1921.[106]

  • Albania maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Albania through its embassy in Tirana.[345]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have an Investment Agreement,[346] and a Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement.[347]

 Andorra 1994[348] See Foreign relations of Andorra
  • The United Kingdom's consulate-general in Barcelona handles the United Kingdom's consular activities in Andorra.[349]
 Austria 1799 See Austria–United Kingdom relations
 Belarus 1992 See Belarus–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Belarus on 27 January 1992.[180]

  • Belarus maintains an embassy in London.[353]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Belarus through its embassy in Minsk.[354]

Both countries share common membership of the OSCE.

 Belgium 1830 See Belgium–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Belgium on 1 December 1830.[75]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[357] Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992 See Bosnia and Herzegovina–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina on 13 April 1992.[184]

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina maintains an embassy in London.[358]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina through its embassy in Sarajevo, and an embassy office in Banja Luka.[359]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, and the OSCE.

 Bulgaria 1879 See Bulgaria–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Bulgaria on 23 June 1879.[94]

  • Bulgaria maintains an embassy in London.[94]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Croatia through its embassy in Sofia.[360]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Croatia 1992 See Croatia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Croatia on 24 June 1992.[187]

  • Croatia maintains an embassy in London and a consulate in Edinburgh.[361]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Croatia through its embassy in Zagreb, and consulates in Dubrovnik and Split.[362]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Czech Republic 1993 See Czech Republic–United Kingdom relations
  • The Czech Republic has an embassy in London and honorary consulates in Belfast and Edinburgh.[363][364]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Prague.[365]

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom paid a state visit to the Czech Republic in March 1996.[366] Both countries are members of NATO.

 Denmark 1490 See Denmark–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Denmark on 2 May 1490.[61]

The two countries have a sovereignty dispute over the Rockall Bank.

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Estonia 1991 See Estonia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Estonia on 5 September 1991.[171]

  • Estonia maintains an embassy in London.[171]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Estonia through its embassy in Tallinn.[369]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 European Union N/A See European Union–United Kingdom relations

The UK was a founding member of the European Union on 1 November 1993; it seceded on 1 January 2021.[370]

Both the EU and the UK share common membership of the G7, G20, and the World Trade Organization.

 Finland 1919 See Finland–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Finland on 28 March 1919.[102]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, Joint Expeditionary Force, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a mutual defence agreement,[373] and a strategic partnership agreement.[374]

 France 1396 See France–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with France in 1396.[60]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, G7, G20, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Germany 1951 See Germany–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany on 20 June 1951.[123]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, G7, G20, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Greece 1833 See Greece–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Greece on 1 January 1833.[76]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Holy See 1982 See Holy See–United Kingdom relations

With the English Reformation, diplomatic links between London and the Holy See, which had been established in 1479, were interrupted in 1536 and again, after a brief restoration in 1553, in 1558. Formal diplomatic ties between the United Kingdom and the Holy See were restored in 1914 and raised to ambassadorial level in 1982.[381][382]

 Hungary 1921 See also Hungary–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Hungary on 22 May 1921.[105]

  • Hungary maintains an embassy in London and a general consulate in Manchester.[383]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Hungary through its embassy in Budapest.[384]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Iceland 1940 See Iceland–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Iceland on 8 May 1940.[115]

The UK occupied Iceland from 10 May 1940 until July 1941, when the United States assumed responsibility of the country.[387]

The two countries have a sovereignty dispute over the Rockall Bank.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Council of Europe, Joint Expeditionary Force, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a free trade agreement.[388]

 Ireland 1922 See Ireland–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Ireland on 6 December 1922.[108]

The UK governed parts of Ireland from the 12th century until 1800, when it was incorporated into the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland achieved full independence on the 6 December 1922.[108]

The two countries have a sovereignty dispute over the Rockall Bank.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Council of Europe, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Common Travel Area, and the Good Friday Agreement.

 Italy 1859 See Italy–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Italy on 13 April 1859.[92]

  • Italy has an embassy in London, a consulate general in Edinburgh and a consulate in Manchester.[391]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Rome, a consulate general in Milan and a consulate in Naples.[392][393]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, G7, G20, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the World Trade Organization.

 Kosovo 2008 See Kosovo–United Kingdom relations
  • Kosovo has a Consular Mission in London.[394]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Pristina.[395]

When Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, the United Kingdom became one of the first countries to officially announce recognition of sovereign Kosovo on 18 February 2008.[396][397] The United Kingdom has had an embassy in Pristina since 5 March 2008.[398] Kosovo has an embassy in London since 1 October 2008.

 Latvia 1991 See Foreign relations of Latvia

The UK established diplomatic relations with Latvia on 5 September 1991.[172]

  • Latvia maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Lithuania through its embassy in Riga.[399]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Lithuania 1991 See Lithuania–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Lithuania on 4 September 1991.[170]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Luxembourg 1879 See Foreign relations of Luxembourg

The UK established diplomatic relations with Luxembourg on 27 November 1879.[95]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Malta 1964 See Malta–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Malta on 7 September 1964.[117]

The UK governed Malta from 1878 until 1964, when it achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Moldova 1992 See Moldova–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Moldova on 17 January 1992.[175]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] and a Free Trade Agreement.[407]

 Montenegro 2006 See Montenegro–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Montenegro on 13 June 2006.[199]

  • Montenegro maintains an embassy in London.[199]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Montenegro through its embassy in Podgorica.[408]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Netherlands 1603 See Netherlands–United Kingdom relations
  • The Netherlands has an embassy in London and consulates in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harwich, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth and Southampton. The Netherlands also has a vice consulate in Dover.[409][410]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in The Hague and consulates in Amsterdam and Willemstad.[411][412]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and NATO.

 Norway 1905 See Norway–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Norway on 6 November 1905.[99]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Poland 1919 See Poland–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Poland on 15 July 1919.[103]

  • Poland maintains an embassy in London.[103]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Poland through its embassy in Warsaw.[415]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, Trilateral Security Pact, and the World Trade Organization.

 Portugal 1386 See Portugal–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Portugal on 9 May 1386.[59]

  • Portugal maintains an embassy and a consulate general in London and consulates in Belfast, Edinburgh, Hamilton and St Helier.[416]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Portugal through its embassy in Lisbon, and a vice consulate in Portimão.[417]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have an Alliance.

 Romania 1880 See Romania–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Romania on 20 February 1880.[96]

  • Romania maintains an embassy London, and consulate generals in Edinburgh and Manchester. Romania also maintains honorary consulates in Hirwaun, Leeds, Morpeth-Newcastle and Southampton.[418]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Romania through its embassy in Bucharest.[419]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Russia 1566 See Russia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Russia on 20 April 1566.[63]

Both countries share common membership of the OSCE. In March 2022, the United Kingdom was added to Russia's unfriendly countries list.[421]

 San Marino 1899 See San Marino–United Kingdom relations
 Serbia 1837 See Serbia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Serbia on 20 February 1880.[78]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, and OSCE.

 Slovakia 1993 See Slovakia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Slovakia on 1 January 1993.[190]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Slovenia 1992 See Foreign relations of Slovenia
  • Slovenia has an embassy in London [427]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Ljubljana.[428]

Both countries are members of NATO.

 Spain 1505 See Spain–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Spain on 1505.[62]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization.

 Sweden 1653 See Sweden–United Kingdom relations
  • Sweden has an embassy in London as well as consulates general in Edinburgh and Gibraltar. Sweden also has consulates in Guernsey and Jersey as well as honorary consulates in Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover, Glasgow, Immingham, Lerwick, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Southampton and Stornonway.[430]
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Stockholm and honorary consulates in Gothenburg and Malmö.[431][432]

Both countries are members of the Council of Europe and NATO.

  Switzerland 1689 See Switzerland–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Switzerland on 30 August 1689.[64]

  • Switzerland maintains an embassy in London.[433]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Switzerland through its embassy in Bern.[434]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, OECD, OSCE, and the World Trade Organization. The two countries have a bilateral free trade agreement.[435]

 Ukraine 1992 See Ukraine–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Ukraine on 10 January 1992.[173]

  • Ukraine maintains an embassy in London, and a consulate in Edinburgh.[173]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Ukraine through its embassy in Kyiv.[436]

Both countries share common membership of the Council of Europe, OSCE, Trilateral Security Pact, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a Development Partnership,[216] a Free Trade Agreement, a Security Agreement,[437] and a Strategic Partnership Agreement.[438]

North America[edit]

Country Since Notes
 Antigua and Barbuda 1981 See Antigua and Barbuda–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Antigua and Barbuda on 1 November 1981.[149] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

The UK governed Antigua and Barbuda from 1632 to 1981, when Antigua and Barbuda achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Caribbean Development Bank, the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK–CARIFORUM continuity Trade Agreement.[441]

 Barbados 1966 See Barbados–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Barbados on 30 November 1966.[147]

The UK governed Barbados from 1625 to 1966, when Barbados achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Caribbean Development Bank, the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK–CARIFORUM continuity Trade Agreement.[441]

 Belize 1981 See Belize–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Belize on 21 September 1981.[165] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

The UK governed Belize from 1783 to 1981, when Belize achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[445] Caribbean Development Bank, the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK-CARIFORUM continuity Trade Agreement.[441]

 Canada 1926 See Canada–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Canada on 1 July 1926.[110] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

The UK governed colonies in Canada from 1783 to 1931, when Canada achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Commonwealth, CPTPP, Five Eyes, the G7, the G20, NATO, OECD, OSCE, UKUSA Agreement, and the World Trade Organization. Both countries have a bilateral free trade agreement.

 Cuba 1902 See Cuba–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Cuba on 20 May 1902.[98]

  • Cuba maintains an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom is accredited to Cuba from its embassy in Havana.[447]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have an Investment Agreement,[448] and a Political Dialogue and Co-operation Agreement.[449]

 Dominica 1978 See Foreign relations of Dominica

The UK established diplomatic relations with Dominica on 13 December 1978.[164]

  • Dominica maintains a high commission in London.[450]
  • United Kingdom is not accredited to Dominica through a high commission; the UK develops relations through its high commission in Bridgetown.[451]

The UK governed Dominica from 1763 to 1978, when Dominica achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] Caribbean Development Bank, the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK–CARIFORUM continuity Trade Agreement.[441]

 Dominican Republic 1850 See Foreign relations of the Dominican Republic

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Domican Republic on 6 March 1850.[86]

The United Kingdom was the first country to recognise the Dominican Republic.[454]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK–CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement.[441]

 El Salvador 1883 See Foreign relations of El Salvador

The UK established diplomatic relations with El Salvador in 1883.[97]

  • El Salvador maintains an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom is accredited to El Salvador from its embassy in San Salvador.[455]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization, and the Central America–UK continuity Trade Agreement.[456]

 Grenada 1974 See Grenada–United Kingdom relations
 Guatemala 1837 See Foreign relations of Guatemala

The UK established diplomatic relations with Guatemala on 12 July 1837.[79]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] and the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK–Central America continuity Trade Agreement.[456]

 Haiti 1859 See Foreign relations of Haiti

The UK established diplomatic relations with Haiti on 13 May 1859.[93]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization.

 Honduras 1849 See Foreign relations of Honduras

The UK established diplomatic relations with Honduras on 16 June 1849, when Frederick Chatfield was appointed Charge d'Affaires despite being based in Guatemala.[84]

  • Honduras maintains an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom is accredited to Honduras from its embassy in Guatemala City; there is no British embassy in Honduras.[459]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization, as well as the UK–Central America continuity Trade Agreement.[456]

 Mexico 1824 See Mexico–United Kingdom relations

The United Kingdom was the first country in Europe to recognise Mexico's Independence.[460] The relationship between the two nations began after the Pastry War when the United Kingdom aided Mexico against France. Also, relations improved when Mexico joined the British alongside the Allies to fight the Japanese forces in the Pacific War.

 Nicaragua 1859 See Foreign relations of Nicaragua

The UK established diplomatic relations with Nicaragua on 18 January 1859.[91]

  • Nicaragua maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Nicaragua from its embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica; there is no British embassy in Nicaragua.[463]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization, as well as the Central America–UK Continuity Trade Agreement.[456]

 Panama 1908 See Foreign relations of Panama

The UK established diplomatic relations with Panama on 9 April 1908.[100]

  • Panama maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Panama from its embassy in Panama City.[464]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization, as well as the Central America–UK Trade Continuity Agreement.[456] Bilaterally the two countries have an investment agreement.[465]

 Saint Lucia 1979 See Foreign relations of Saint Lucia

The UK established diplomatic relations with Saint Lucia in 22 February 1979.[149] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

The UK governed Saint Lucia from 1803 to 1979, when Saint Lucia achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Caribbean Development Bank, Commonwealth, the World Trade Organization, and the UK–CARIFORUM Continuity Trade Agreement.[441]

 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979 See Saint Vincent and the Grenadines–United Kingdom relations
 United States 1783 See United Kingdom–United States relations
United States President Barack Obama talks to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the South Lawn of the White House, 20 July 2010.

The UK established diplomatic relations with the United States on 1 June 1785.[65] UK-US diplomatic relations is commonly described as the "Special Relationship".

The United States declared its independence from the United Kingdom on 4 July 1776.[65]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] AUKUS, Five Eyes, the G7, the G20, NATO, OECD, OSCE, UKUSA Agreement, the UNSC P5, and the World Trade Organization. Bilateral agreements between the two countries include the US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement, and a proposed free trade agreement.

Oceania[edit]

Country Since Notes
 Australia 1936 See Australia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Australia in March 1936.[114] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

The UK governed Australia from the late 18th century until 1942, when Australia achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of AUKUS, the Commonwealth, CPTPP, Five Eyes, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, the G20, OECD, the UKUSA Agreement, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have a defence agreement,[470] a reciprocal healthcare agreement,[471] and a free trade agreement.[472]

 Nauru 1968 See Nauru–United Kingdom relations

Nauru was part of the British Western Pacific Territories from September 1914 and June 1921.[473] The British Government had ceased to exercise any direct role in the governance of Nauru by 1968, when the island achieved its independence. The Nauruan government maintains an Hon. Consul, Martin W I Weston. The British High Commission in Suva is responsible for the United Kingdom's bilateral relations with Nauru.[474]

 New Zealand 1939 See New Zealand–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with New Zealand in March 1939.[114] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

The UK governed New Zealand from 1840 until 1947, when New Zealand achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, CPTPP, Five Eyes, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, OECD, the UKUSA Agreement, and the World Trade Organization. The two countries have a bilateral free trade agreement.

 Papua New Guinea 1975 See Papua New Guinea–United Kingdom relations

Papua New Guinea and the United Kingdom share Queen Elizabeth as their head of state. They have had relations since 1975 when Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia.

 Solomon Islands 1978 See Solomon Islands–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with the Solomon Islands on 7 July 1978.[163] Both countries are Commonwealth Realms.

  • Solomon Islands does not maintain a high commission in the United Kingdom.
  • The UK is accredited to the Solomon Islands through its high commission in Honiara.[476]

The UK governed the Solomon Islands from 1893 until 1978, when the Solomon Islands achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the Pacific States–United Kingdom Economic Partnership Agreement.[477]

 Tonga 1879 See Foreign relations of Tonga

The United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Tonga established formal mutual diplomatic recognition in 1879.[478] Tonga was then a British protectorate from 1900 to 1970, whereupon diplomatic relations resumed at the level of sovereign states.

South America[edit]

Country Since Notes
 Argentina 1823 See Argentina–United Kingdom relations

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact.[204]

 Brazil 1827 See Brazil–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Brazil on 17 August 1827.[74]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] the G20, and the World Trade Organization.

 Chile 1823 See Chile–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Chile on 14 September 1823.[69]

  • Chile maintains an embassy in London.
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Chile through its embassy in Santiago.[483]

Both countries share common membership of CPTPP, OECD, and the World Trade Organization. Bilaterally the two countries have an association agreement.[484]

 Colombia 1825 See Colombia–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Colombia on 18 April 1825.[71]

  • Colombia maintains an embassy in London.[71]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Colombia through its embassy in Bogotá.[485]

Both countries share common membership of the OECD, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the Andean countries–UK Free Trade Agreement.[486] Bilaterally the two countries have an Investment Agreement,[487] and a Security Agreement.[488]

 Ecuador 1853 See Foreign relations of Ecuador

The UK established diplomatic relations with Ecuador on 29 January 1853.[87]

  • Ecuador maintains an embassy in London.[489]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Ecuador through its embassy in Quito.[490]

Both countries share common membership of the World Trade Organization, and the UK-Andean countries free trade agreement.[486]

 Guyana 1966 See Foreign relations of Guyana

The UK established diplomatic relations with Guyana on the 26 May 1966.[146]

The UK governed Guyana from 1803 to 1966, when Guyana achieved full independence.

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[204] the Caribbean Development Bank, the Commonwealth, and the World Trade Organization, as well as the CARIFORUM–UK Economic Partnership Agreement.[441] Bilaterally the two countries have an Investment Agreement.[492]

 Paraguay 1853 See Paraguay–United Kingdom relations

Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on 4 March 1853, with the signing of a treaty of Friendship, Trade and Navigation. A dominant view in Paraguay and significant in all the Southern Cone is that the interests of the British Empire played a considerable role during the Paraguayan War.[493]

 Peru 1823 See Peru–United Kingdom relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Peru on 10 October 1823.[70]

  • Peru maintains an embassy in London.[495]
  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Peru through its embassy in Lima.[496]

Both countries are members of CPTPP, the World Trade Organization, and the UK-Andean Countries Free Trade Agreement.[497]

 Suriname 1976 See Foreign relations of Suriname

The UK established diplomatic relations with Suriname on 31 March 1976.[158]

  • Suriname does not maintain an embassy in the UK.
  • The United Kingdom is not accredited to Suriname through an embassy.[498]

England governed Suriname from 1650 to 1667, when Suriname was transferred to the Netherlands. The UK occupied Suriname from 1799 until 1816.[499]

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact,[500] the World Trade Organization, as well as the CARIFORUM–UK Economic Partnership Agreement,[501] and Caribbean Development Bank.

 Uruguay 1825 See United Kingdom–Uruguay relations

Both countries share common membership of the Atlantic co-operation pact.[204]

 Venezuela 1834 See United Kingdom–Venezuela relations

The UK established diplomatic relations with Venezuela on 29 October 1834.[77]

  • The United Kingdom is accredited to Venezuela through its embassy in Caracas.[503]
  • Venezuela maintains an embassy in London.

International organisations[edit]

The United Kingdom is a member of the following international organisations:[504]

  • ACP - Atlantic Co-operation Pact[204]
  • ADB - Asian Development Bank (nonregional member)
  • AfDB - African Development Bank (nonregional member)
  • Arctic Council (observer)
  • Australia Group
  • BIS - Bank for International Settlements
  • Commonwealth of Nations
  • CBSS - Council of the Baltic Sea States (observer)
  • CDB - Caribbean Development Bank
  • Council of Europe
  • CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
  • CPTPP - Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans–Pacific Partnership
  • EAPC - Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
  • EBRD - European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • EIB - European Investment Bank
  • ESA - European Space Agency
  • FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization
  • FATF - Financial Action Task Force
  • G-20 - Group of Twenty
  • G-5 - Group of Five
  • G7 - Group of Seven
  • G8 - Group of Eight
  • G-10 - Group of Ten (economics)
  • IADB - Inter-American Development Bank
  • IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency
  • IBRD - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (also known as the World Bank)
  • ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization
  • ICC - International Chamber of Commerce
  • ICCt - International Criminal Court
  • ICRM - International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  • IDA - International Development Association
  • IEA - International Energy Agency
  • IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • IFC - International Finance Corporation
  • IFRCS - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • IHO - International Hydrographic Organization
  • ILO - International Labour Organization
  • IMF - International Monetary Fund
  • IMO - International Maritime Organization
  • IMSO - International Mobile Satellite Organization
  • Interpol - International Criminal Police Organization
  • IOC - International Olympic Committee
  • IOM - International Organization for Migration
  • IPU - Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • ISO - International Organization for Standardization
  • ITSO - International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
  • ITU - International Telecommunication Union
  • ITUC - International Trade Union Confederation
  • MIGA - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
  • MONUSCO - United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • NEA - Nuclear Energy Agency
  • NSG - Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • OAS - Organization of American States (observer)
  • OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • OPCW - Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Paris Club
  • PCA - Permanent Court of Arbitration
  • PIF - Pacific Islands Forum (partner)
  • SECI - Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (observer)
  • UN - United Nations
  • UNSC - United Nations Security Council
  • UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • UNFICYP - United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
  • UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • UNMIS - United Nations Mission in Sudan
  • UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
  • UPU - Universal Postal Union
  • WCO - World Customs Organization
  • WHO - World Health Organization
  • WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization
  • WMO - World Meteorological Organization
  • WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Zangger Committee - (also known as the) Nuclear Exporters Committee

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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