Canada (a Commonwealth country) has just spent seven years negotiating a trade deal with the EU.
Negotiations are now completed and the Canadians will soon have easy access to the European market to sell their products. In exchange, the Germans will be able to sell their BMWs, and the French their wines to the Canadians, in very favourable conditions.
No doubt the deal will prove very lucrative on both sides of the Atlantic.
The USA are at the moment negotiating a similar deal. This is what President Obama was talking about when he visited London recently. In his ‘at the back of the queue’ speech, he made it repeatedly clear that the US were only interested in trading with a strong and united Europe and not with one country.
Those who dismiss Obama as a ‘lame duck president’ because he is reaching the end of his mandate should remember that Hilary Clinton, probably the next US president issued a statement fully supporting his speech.
The Prime Minister of Australia (a Commonwealth country) recently strongly advised the UK to remain within the EU.
It seems likely that, in the future, the EU trade zone will extend to the whole of North America; the 27 remaining countries will manage very well without the UK.
It also seems that Commonwealth countries are not exactly rushing to offer to trade with us.
I therefore do not share the optimism of those Brexiters who think that they can leave the EU and then come back whenever they like if they realise they have made a mistake.
The EU, which also has trading agreements with non-EU countries like Norway and Switzerland, might not welcome them with open arms.
M M Graves
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