For those not bang up to date on the latest events, today is Commonwealth Day.
I’ve always suspected that Commonwealth Day is just an excuse for jingoistic tub-thumping amongst us Brits and consequently paid no attention to it – but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.
Historically, the fifty-two countries in the commonwealth were previously ‘ruled’ by the UK and the Queen as head of the commonwealth. But as time has worn on, that definition has become increasingly anachronistic (as well as downright rude to our commonwealth neighbours).
As ‘Brexit’ takes centre stage in British politics, us Brits have to face the fact that we’ve collectively painted ourselves into a corner and that, on reflection, picking an argument with our closest trading neighbours wasn’t a wise move. Ah well, c’est la vie.
What now? Speaking historically, as we must when speaking about Commonwealth Day, we’ve left ourselves with no option but to go cap in hand to our most powerful commonwealth neighbours (Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia and Singapore) and ask for more trade, as we’ve managed to endanger the largest market for UK exports – the EU.
The UK is currently walking a tightrope; forcing itself to choose between the commonwealth and the EU – if the UK is clever and plays its cards right, it needn’t choose either, but work with both to increase UK trade.
Unfortunately, common-sense hasn’t prevailed so far and the more bombastic of the ’Leave EU’ politicians, with their hostile rhetoric, have left the UK with diminished wiggle room. It’s time for the Prime Minister to remind her party to ‘think it’ don’t ‘say it’ – leaving UK businesses with more negotiating room with their EU partners.
In a few years time, these arguments will have all blown over, with some in every society believing they’re entitled to more simply because they shout loudest, whereas the rest of society gets on with it. What’s ‘it’ you ask?