Britain's Future Tied To North America?

Is the UK on the verge of abandoning the EU? It's looking more like a more attractive option as the monetary/finance crisis deepens and threatens to pull the UK irrevocably into a bankrupt and less democratic European superstate.

What options does it have to preclude this out come? Only two variations on a theme, that being withdrawal from the EU. That leave them with two possible options once they've done so: Go it alone or seek alliance elsewhere. Going it alone may seem attractive at first, but it does leave them open the vagaries of the world market with no one else backstopping them. So perhaps they should seek an alliance elsewhere. But with whom?

Well, how about NAFTA? After all, the UK has far more in common with Canada and the US than they do with France, Germany, or Belgium.

Britain does have other choices. To find the country's new role, British leaders should look to North America.

Alone among EEC members, Britain narrowed some of its major trade networks when it joined. It also traded ordinary Britons' right to virtually bureaucracy-free movement, temporary or permanent, between the U.K. and British Commonwealth nations.


While much trust was lost between Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth because of this move, strong personal, cultural and economic ties remain and could be revived. Ask the average Briton where he'd feel more at home, Paris or Toronto.

Canada and Australia have well-managed, vibrant economies. Both countries sit on huge deposits of natural resources of ever-increasing value. Britain's top-tier financial sector and still-excellent technical capabilities already play a role in Canada's economy. These ties could be much strengthened.

Britons also feel at home south of the Canadian border. Contrary to an oft-repeated myth, links between Britain and the United States are not reducible to the personal relationships between presidents and prime ministers. The U.S. and the U.K. have always been each other's primary financial partners. A few simple measures could substantially deepen this relationship, especially once Britain no longer needs to adhere to EU rules.

The only thing the UK has in common with the rest of Europe these days is proximity and a centuries long history of armed conflict with a number of countries there. Perhaps it's time for Britain to remember the rest of the Anglosphere and to consider re-aligning itself it with it. I have no doubt it would help both the UK and the other nations of the Anglosphere.

And the UK's trade with the rest of the EU? I have reason to believe that while there would be some fall off in trade, in the end it won't be all that much. And increased trade and relations with the rest of the Anglosphere would certainly help make up any shortfall from the rest of Europe.

Frankly I see little if any downside to the UK withdrawing from the EU and realigning itself with its former colonies and Commonwealth members.