BREXIT AND REVITALIZING THE COMMONWEALTH: THE USA AS ASSOCIATE MEMBER?
In the aftermath of the BREXIT vote, I began to argue in blogs and in various interviews, that the next step geopolitically for Great Britain would be to play the soft power card, in the form of revivifying the British Commonwealth of nations. My reasons for thinking this was in the cards were various, and spread out over several blogs and interviews. Here were some of those reasons: (1) elements of the British deep state, including apparently the Queen herself, were increasingly disappointed not only with the EU and the loss of national sovereignty, but with the unipolar and multicultural (read, Gramscian Marxist) direction things were going; (2) a significant segment of the British population was fed up with the growing Islamicization of Britain; and (3) Britain was pursuing, independently of the EU, it's own relationship and trading policy with China, hosting the state visit of Mr. Xi Jinping to that country, and joining, as a member of the board, China's Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. Finally, (4) Britain continued to be alarmed at the growing power and influence of Russia, in particular Russia speaking openly about the West abandoning its core cultural principles and appealing directly to those elements in the West with decidedly traditional cultural sympathies. Russia was playing the soft power card, and playing it well.
In this context, I was arguing that the United Kingdom had certain unique advantages - all of them cultural - that the European Union, firmly under Germany's thumb, did not: Britain had dramatically influenced the expansion of an English-speaking culture, with English institutions, concepts of jurisprudence, and so on, over a vast area of the globe. Britain could, I argued, if it played its cards right, play that soft power card and create an immense bloc of economic and cultural interests. But this would be impossible under the aegis of the globaloney-multicultural-unipolar philosophy. The way to do this would be to stress the cultural heritage and institutions, and the British Commonwealth was ready-to-hand.
This last week, a number of regular readers of this website, particularly in the United Kingdom, shared an article which appears to confirm this analysis and prediction, and moreover, to do so in a very astonishing way:
While this article is fairly short, the first four paragraphs contain a number of bombshells that appear to support my arguments from months ago, rather substantially:
The United States could eventually become an "associate member" of the Commonwealth, according to plans being drawn up by the Royal Commonwealth Society.The move, which is said to have the backing of the Queen, is believed to have come about because of US President Donald Trump’s love of Britain and the Royal Family.With the UK making plans to leave the European Union (EU) officials are keen to build up international relations through the Commonwealth in an number of areas, including trade.Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society Michael Lake told The Telegraph: "The UK rather left this treasure in the attic, and forgot about it because people were so glued to Brussels.” (Emphasis added)
I cannot help but think that since this plan "is said to have the backing of the Queen", that it may have been in the works for some time, since we all recall the story from last year, prior to the BREXIT referendum, that the Queen had invited Mr. Cameron's vice-premier to the palace for tea and dinner, during which the Queen allegedly asked him is he could name three incontestable benefits Britain was reaping from the EU. The message was clear: the Queen was casting a skeptical eye on the whole business.
There was another wrinkle that seldom gets mentioned: Germany's and France's (i.e., Merkel's and Hollande's) plans for a trans-European military. While no one was saying it, everyone was at least thinking it: a trans-European military would be as much under Berlin's thumb as the other areas and institutions of the E.U. were and are. For Britain, this of course brought back "memories." And this wrinkle I suspect is also at work behind the current willingness of the Royal Commonwealth Society not only to cast its attentions to the Commonwealth, but to America as an "associate member," for the article makes it clear that "officials are keen to build up international relations through the Commonwealth in an(sic) number of areas, including trade." One of those areas is, of course, defense and security. With NATO's future in doubt, watch for the Commonwealth to become the focus of British security policy, in conjunction with other Commonwealth members and proposed "Associate", the USA.
One key area here is trade, and here the Commonwealth affords Britain an opportunity that, again, the continental powers do not have, for the institutions of British law, in one form or another, are common to all Commonwealth countries, and additionally, form the basis of American law. This allows a unique "jump starting" position for trade deals. Complex trade agreements with countries with legal systems based outside of the history and development of British law do not have to be negotiated.
If indeed Ms. Le Pen wins her election bid in France, this will only exacerbate the crack-up of the E.U., and put tremendous pressure on Germany to re-arm independently. Britain, however, can draw on a history of mutual economic and security arrangements with the Commonwealth and the USA. And if Ms. Le Pen wins, watch for some interesting bi-lateral agreements to be made... think Edward VII here...
For the moment, it looks as if John Bull intends to play the soft power card, and so far, it appears to be playing it well.