Tue Jan 3, 2012, 05:49 PM
pampango (18,338 posts)
Let Britain join NAFTA (if it wants out of the EU) :)
This past weekend in Brussels British Prime Minister David Cameron finally ended the half-century-old British debate about whether it wants to be part of Europe or not. Cameron's conclusion, of course, was no.
This is not at all surprising as the Brits have never really had their hearts in the European project. When the European Economic Community (EEC or Common Market) was founded in 1958, Britain was invited to join. Its reply was "thanks, but no thanks." Then in 1972, when the Common Market looked like it was going to be a real success, London changed its mind and was admitted to membership claiming that the place of Britain was at the heart of Europe. But then began a long series of negotiations for special exceptions and conditions for the British, and in the internal debates, the weight of Britain was always thrown on the scales for less economic integration and for absolutely no political integration.
I, Clyde Prestowitz, suggest that the United States, Canada, and Mexico invite Britain to join NAFTA. We could change its name from the North American Free Trade Area to simply the Northern Free Trade Area or the North Atlantic Free Trade Area. It would make all kinds of sense for Britain since its concepts of unfettered free markets and free trade are much closer to those of the North Americans than they are to the more regulation-oriented and mercantilist concepts of continental Europeans. Britain already does an immense amount of trade with North America and is the alternate center of operations for much of the North American financial industry.
Of course, the Canadians and Mexicans might not go for this, in which case Washington could offer statehood to Britain, or separately to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The U.S. flag would have either 51 or 54 stars and there would never again be any question of the Germans or French or the bureaucrats in Brussels calling the tune in London.
The UK is a lot like Canada. If the UK pisses the EU off enough, it can either go it alone or join another group.
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Response to pampango (Original post)
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 06:25 PM
merkozy (9 posts)
2. THE EURO BREAK-UP PLAN
' Of course, the Canadians and Mexicans might not go for this, in which case Washington could offer statehood to Britain..' Surely, surely, this is a sarcastic article. For a number of reasons. To begin with, it seems to me the author is missing the point by assuming that Britain's gripe with Brussels is primarily an issue of incompatibility with their cousins in the hinterland. While that is true, what the British treasure most is their freedom. That will not be served by refusing to be the 18th member of the eurozone only to become the 54th member of the enlarged USA. Secondly I cannot see what benefits could accrue to Britain as a result of such membership, considering Britain cannot physically uproot itself from its current location and attach itself to America. It is a fact of life that one can chose their friends, not their neighbours. And history shows that the most effective economic alliances are ones united more by common geography than common agenda. The fact Britain does most of its trade with Europe is a fact of life that cannot be wished away, or even legislated for. Of course this is not to say that the euro will survive; personally I doubt it. The following satirical article shows how the messy divorce could play out on Twitter.