Australian Outlook

Australia in the World

11 Apr 2019
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim
Ballot paper from the 2016 referendum on whether the United Kingdom should  leave or remain in the European Union. Source: (Mick Baker)rooster, Flickr

In episode 16 of Australia in the World, Allan and Darren discuss Brexit, new funding for Australia-China relations and the toughest job in all of DFAT.

We delayed discussing Brexit until after the 29 March 2019 “deadline,” but that day came and went with no further clarity on what will happen, and the show must go on! Allan and Darren discuss this incredibly complex issue along multiple dimensions. They begin with a contextual analysis of the European Union: Allan offers a view through the lens of Australian foreign policy, while Darren provides an academic perspective on the logic of the European Union as an international institution. Allan evaluates David Cameron’s decision to call the Brexit referendum in the manner that he did (contrasting it with John Howard’s referendum on an Australian republic) while Darren tries to understand the arguments for Brexit, from reclaiming sovereignty and control to expressing frustration with the modern world. The Northern Ireland issue is covered, and Allan concludes by summarising the entire mess from an Australian perspective.

The two then discuss the recent announcement of $44m in funding for the new National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, to replace the Australia-China Council, and what contribution these organisations play in fostering bilateral relations. Finally, with a new Australian Ambassador to China announced, Darren asks Allan to describe what must be the hardest job in all of DFAT!

Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA is national president of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and an honorary professor at the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

Dr Darren Lim is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Our thanks go to AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help both with research and audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.