The Corner

World

The Commonwealth Option

Anti-Brexit protesters hold posters and flags in Whitehall, in central London, Britain, December 6, 2018. (Toby Melville/REUTERS )

With the Brexit issue coming to a head next week when Parliament formally considers PM Theresa May’s Draft Withdrawal Agreement, a number of leading British conservatives and allies — including former NR director Robert Agostinelli and acclaimed historian Andrew Roberts — penned a letter, a version of which was published by the Telegraph, calling for MPs to vote against the agreement (“put it out of its misery”) and instead support a “Super Canada” option. The complete and original version of the letter follows:

The Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit deal has been discussed in detail, and to describe it would replicate the excellent work of many journalists. However, we feel that it has broad and historical implications for the UK’s future relationship with the World, especially our traditional allies in the Commonwealth (and Anglosphere)

Britain is facing a stark choice between two paths.

One path leads to stasis, where the expressed will of the people is delayed indefinitely, and the nation lacks the tools of statecraft necessary to forge a renewed partnership with Europe outside the political structures of the European Union, as well as to pursue new partnerships with our traditional and cultural allies and the world beyond.

Another path leads to a mutually respectful accord with Europe, respect for the democratic process as expressed on June 23, 2016, as well as the opportunity to help build the foundation of a new globalisation – one more resilient, equitable and responsive than its predecessor.

The people of Britain well understand that economic cooperation does not require political integration or the loss of sovereignty. Their unequivocal verdict is in favour of a nation – independent and sovereign – working in harmonious concert with allies and friends, based on the principles of reciprocity and respect.

We, the undersigned, encourage those deciding the fate of the proposed Draft Withdrawal Agreement, to consider the alternative:

1. To vote against the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, and support the alternative ‘Super Canada’ option – an enhanced variant of the existing CETA treaty that supports Canada – EU free trade – which has already met with a positive reception from Donald Tusk; this proposal would sit within the wider PlanAPlus strategy, in order to deliver a truly global, free/trading future for the United Kingdom;

2. Together with the Government of Canada, establish a successor free trade agreement that grandfathers the terms and references of CETA into a new Canada-UK (CANUK) treaty, to be implemented immediately upon the conclusion of the Article 50 process;

3. Begin quadrilateral negotiations between Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand for the expressed purpose of harmonising the terms of CANUK with the Australia – New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (ANZCERTA) treaty into a new CANZUK treaty;

4. Conduct negotiations to introduce a fairer and more balanced immigration policy with regard to Commonwealth nations such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and end the unfair preference towards EU citizens.

5. Initiate a longer term strategy for accession of Commonwealth member states that meet the terms and qualifications for inclusion in order to expand the CANZUK treaty into a broader Commonwealth network agreement – one with the potential to include one-third of the world’s population and a combined gross domestic product that will reach US$13 trillion by 2020.

We know Britain has a great global future ready to be embraced. Britain must shake off the millstone of Declinism that has infected its political class, and work towards creating an optimistic and prosperous 21st century nation. Greater cooperation with friends in the Commonwealth through all the continents of this earth provide a better opportunity for this nation’s future than being under an unaccountable bureaucracy based in one continent. Our five point plan is a realistic, optimistic and plausible way forward for post-Brexit Britain. We urge our parliamentarians to listen to the advice of us, your friends.

We, the undersigned therefore, implore the MPs deciding the fate of the proposed Draft Withdrawal Agreement, to put it out of its misery and vote it down. Confirm instead Britain onto a path of independence and opportunity.

SIgned

Robert F. Agostinelli – Founder Rhône and Former Chairman of National Review Institute.

Isaac Anderson – Founder of the Commonwealth, Realms & CANZUK Campaign.

James C. Bennett – Author of The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century, and A Time for Audacity: How Brexit Has Created The CANZUK Option.

Robin Birley – Owner, 5 Hertford Street.

Brent Cameron – Councillor, Central Frontenac Township Ontario, Canada and author of The Case for Commonwealth Free Trade: Options for a New Globalization.

Tim Dawson – Founder, Britain’s Future

Dr. Ruth Lea, CBE

Michael Lotus – Co-author (with James C. Bennett) of America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century— Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come.

Bobbie McLouglin, the CANZUK group.

Robert Oulds – the Director of the Bruges Group and the author of Everything you wanted to know about the EU: But were afraid to ask.

Andrew Roberts – Historian, Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and Author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny.

Patrick Robertson – Founder of The Bruges Group.

Rebecca Ryan – Founder of #StandUpforBrexit.

Mark Slater – Chairman, Slater Investments Ltd.

Jon-Paul Teasdale – Chair, United Commonwealth Society.

Andrew Wright – UK Representative, United Commonwealth Society.

Rory Broomfield – Director-General of the Rudolf Wolff Commonwealth Infrastructure Fund‎

Ted Yarbrough – Co-Founder and editor of the Daily Globe UK.

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