The British Government has published its Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and European Union on Foreign Policy.
The report (link here) concludes that as regards the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, “the balance of competence lies squarely with the Member States”, and that it is in the UK’s interests to work through the EU.
The report paints a rosy picture of EU sanctions / restrictive measures. It finds that the EU uses sanctions to good effect in order to further “human rights objectives” and that it has taken a “global lead, supported by the UK, in increasing pressure on Iran” by means of the “most far-reaching” of the EU’s autonomous sanctions regimes. “The EU has the ability to impose far more painful sanctions than the UK could do alone”, and conversely “without UK influence”, Iranian sanctions “would be much less far-reaching”. Referring to Burma, the report states that sanctions are at their most powerful, practically and politically, at the points of imposition and lifting”.