LETTER: New national partners for the UK

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The Independent Online
From Professor Anatole Beck

Sir: As the difficulties of the UK with the EU continue, I am led once again to wonder why it seems never to have occurred to anyone else that a natural economic home for this nation would be in a worldwide confederation of fairly prosperous, English-speaking states: the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has seemed to me ever since 1956 that such an economic union would best serve as counterweight to the polyglot federation that Europe apparently insists upon becoming.

The EU has extracted from the UK an unconscionable ransom as the price of relieving the isolation which it has suffered since the establishment of the European Economic Community. The sacrifices needed to support such unadaptive features as French farming and Spanish fishing are without justification, and the strangling of the British dairy industry is outrageous - to name but a few. And the desire of the British to cling to the pound and the protection of the Channel are surely the prerogative of a free and proud people, and a less pernicious manifestation of national pride than the costly attempt to continue playing at world military status.

It is clear that the six nations I have listed could find a greater degree of common understanding, as well as a more tolerant laissez-faire approach, than the highly bureaucratic government the old EEC intends to impose on its vassal states. And the nationalistic excesses of the Irish, Scots, Quebecois, etc, might be less pressing in a larger union than in one where they are more or less alone with those they consider their oppressors.

In time, such a confederation might even find favour with such states as Iceland and Norway, even with the English-language feature, and Denmark might relieve its current chafing in the EU by changing partners. Sweden and Finland might then appear as possibilities, though they would be longshots.

It might work, or it might not, but it is surely worth investigation.

Yours faithfully,

ANATOLE BECK

Department of Mathematics

The London School of Economics

and Political Science

London WC2

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