Asia Pacific Holds Opportunities for Britain Post-Brexit

The Commonwealth is the perfect launch pad for global Britain

Guest writer Ted Yarbrough sets out an ambitious vision for a post-EU UK. 

Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” is disastrous. It surrenders sovereignty to the EU and effectively makes the UK an EU colony. This is outrageous and makes no logical sense given that the UK is the world’s 5th largest economy and has so many links with nations all across the globe.

Britain needs to fulfil the opportunities of Brexit, reject the Prime Minister’s vassalage plan and rejoin the world.

The Commonwealth of Nations is the natural home of the United Kingdom and, unlike the European Union, its economies are growing exponentially. Of the 13 largest economies in the world, excluding Great Britain, there are three from the European Union – Germany, France and Italy – and three from the Commonwealth: Canada, India and Australia. The Commonwealth’s economy is larger than the EU’s and is growing much faster. Australia, for example, has not had a recession in over 25 years.

Furthermore, besides Canada, Australia, and India, the Commonwealth is home to some of the world’s biggest financial centres – Singapore and Kuala Lumpur – and is home to the two biggest economies in Africa: Nigeria and South Africa. Why would the UK want to be chained to a bureaucratic organisation one one continent when they are already part of an organisation that spans the globe and shares much of Great Britain’s values, history, and culture? With Commonwealth nations rising, this is the perfect opportunity to make mutually beneficial deals.

The UK and Commonwealth leaders should explore plans for “C5” and “C9” agreements to prepare Britain for a post-EU global future. “C9” would be a free trade pact between the nine big powers of the Commonwealth: the UK, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Nigeria and South Africa. This would be as big or bigger than the 9 member EEC Britain joined in the 1970s.

Secondly, the UK should push for free movement of labour where it makes sense. Like Boris Johnson, I see strong advantages in freedom of movement with historic allies. Therefore, the government should consider freedom of movement in a “C5” of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.

The C5 and the C9 would be a big step towards re-establishing the UK as a world leader, not a supplicant of Eurocrats.

The United Kingdom should also seek trade deals with natural allies like the US, Hong Kong and large economies like Japan. A free trade deal with the EU would be welcome, but should not be the only focus of UK trade policy. The UK’s trade has been declining with the EU for some time, whereas trade with the rest of the world has been expanding.

The UK should reject May’s deal, trade with the EU on WTO terms for now, and super-charge its relations with the rest of the world. It is time for Britain to go global.

Ted Yarbrough is an attorney based in Dallas, Texas. He is the co-founder and editor of The Daily Globe.