Great Britain is fighting hard for its place in an increasingly troublesome European Union (EU) by standing for sovereignty and national independence. How to fix it? Economist Clyde Prestowitz makes this brilliant proposal in Foreign Policy: invite the Brits to join the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA. This would make sense on so many levels. It would benefit the United States, return Britain to the role of America’s best friend on the world stage, and rescue our cousins across the pond from the overweening powers of the EU. I will pass on Prestowitz’s suggestion that we consider a common currency with NAFTA members, but I will let him make the broader case for this strategy himself:
I 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. It obviously shares a common language with the United States and Canada and its biggest newspaper mogul owns the Wall Street Journal.
Then there is the matter of currency. The final stumbling block for Cameron was the unwillingness of his continental European partners to grant special exceptions that the City deemed necessary to maintain London’s place as the world’s premier hub of finance. Ironically, however, without really active membership in the EU, the City’s future role will be quite uncertain. On top of that, in a world of big currencies like the dollar, the Euro, and, in the future, the Chinese yuan, a small currency like the pound sterling will likely find life increasingly difficult. This problem, however, would be easy to solve if the new Northern Free Trade Area were to adopt a common currency (U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar + Mexican Peso+ Pound Sterling = Dolep).
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