Ted Yarbrough is studying law, and blogs as Texan Tory. He has written a thesis on Thatcherism’s effect on British culture.
From listening to many British politicians and commentators, one would think that Europe is the only continent in the world.
Most of the discussion of what the post-Brexit world will look like tends to be extremely and unnecessarily euro-centric. Much of the chatter tends to centre around UK’s trade with the EU and what kind of deal can be reached with the EU.
Talks of “cliffs-edges” and possible transitional agreements dominate the headlines when discussing the future. This European only tunnel-vision misses the very point of Brexit which was to go, as The Spectator put it on their cover before the referendum: “Out and into the World.”
With that being said, transitioning from a relationship and a way of doing things is never easy.
Although the United States is individually the UK’s largest trading partner, the EU still accounts for 45 per cent of UK exports (although the UK buys more from the EU than the EU buys from the UK) and a disruption in trade by irrational EU desires to “punish” the UK could lead to some economic choppiness.
Therefore, there must be a way to transition out of the UK’s past relationship with the EU to a truly global economy. For that solution the UK should look no further than its closest friends and Anglosphere family: Canada, America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Readers might be wondering about my use of the word “family” to refer to other Anglosphere countries. I use it due to the incredibly close bonds between Anglosphere countries in terms of history, law, language, culture, and shared experiences and values.
In a fantastic piece for City AM Graeme Leach defines the Anglosphere as being “a concept that can trace its lineage back to Winston Churchill’s A History of the English Speaking Peoples”, which includes “five core countries: the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand” and “is becoming a distinct civilisation in its own right.”
Unlike in the EU, where the UK was supposed to submit to the supremacy of EU law and directives, the Anglosphere has a long history of co-operation based on trust, partnership, and respect. An example of the Anglosphere’s intimate and trusting relationship can be seen the Five Eyes intelligence-pooling agreement where the Anglosphere countries share with each other their most sensitive intelligence.
Building quick trading alliances with the Anglosphere will not only soften negative tariff effects that may come from Brexit, but will in fact be a boon to the British economy. According to the World Bank, the core five Anglosphere economies accounted for 33 per cent of global GDP in 2015 (World Bank data – nominal GDP at market exchange rates). This compared with a 21 per cent share for the EU, excluding the UK.
Therefore, moving into an economic free trade zone with the UK’s Anglosphere partners puts Britain in a larger, English-speaking trade bloc than the EU single market, without the baggage of the EU’s rules, courts, and immigration demands. which involve free movement from countries that are much poorer and don’t speak the same language as Great Britain.
An Anglosphere trading bloc would be one based on equals. There would be no Anglosphere Union. There would be no Anglosphere Commission, Court, or Parliament. Rather it would be a partnership of sovereign nations.
The good news is that an Anglosphere trade bloc could be assembled quickly. America’s incoming administration and Congress, along with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have all backed a free trade deal with the United Kingdom. Both President-Elect Trump and Prime Minister Turnbull have also personally backed free trade deals with the UK.
Finally, a quick trade deal with the Anglosphere can lead to greater possibilities for the UK as it moves confidently into the 21st Century. If other countries see the UK’s ability to come into quick trade deals with the Anglosphere countries, it will encourage them to also go into negotiations with the UK for a free trade deal.
An Anglosphere trade bloc could be a first step towards greater Commonwealth integration, which was so shamefully abandoned when the UK entered the EEC. Greater Commonwealth integration would encourage deals with Commonwealth nations like India and Singapore, or a deal similar to the “C9” one I advocated two years ago.
Breaking up with the EU, like ending any relationship, is hard. When times get tough, it is important to turn to those who care about you: in the UK’s case that is the Anglosphere. It’s important not to believe the current excitable emotional claims of the EU of doom – they are going through the break up too.
Eventually the UK will trade and deal with the EU normally and like civilised countries. There is a big world of opportunity out there for the UK, and the Anglosphere family is there to help Great Britain reach her full potential.