The Anglosphere

#22
5 eyes apart, seems like an imaginary construct in reality

Opinion | Britain, Time to Let Go of the ‘Anglosphere’

Is there a family of English-speaking nations, united by cultural values, liberal market economies, the common law and democracy, that is waiting to welcome Britain with open arms after it frees itself from the constraints of the European Union? Some optimists think so.
David Davis, the British government’s Brexit secretary until he left his post this week, said in a 2016 speech on the referendum: “This is an opportunity to renew our strong relationships with Commonwealth and Anglosphere countries. These parts of the world are growing faster than Europe. We share history, culture and language. We have family ties. We even share similar legal systems. The usual barriers to trade are largely absent.”
In 2013, Boris Johnson, a prominent Brexit supporter and foreign secretary until he also resigned this week, described Britain’s joining the precursor to the European Union in 1973 as when “we betrayed our relationships with Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand.”
Both departed in protest of Prime Minister Theresa May’s most recent plan for Brexit, which includes concessions to European Union rules to make trading with the bloc easier post-Brexit and which, in Mr. Johnson’s view, has “suffocated” the dream of a global Britain, trading with the wider world.
President Trump arrived in Britain on Thursday for a visit meant to “celebrate the strong business links between our two countries,” according to Downing Street. And maybe to renew kinship and ties between Britain and the United States?
Unlikely. The problem is that in British politics, the Anglosphere has always been a paradox: a politically useful idea that has never lived up to the ambitions of its advocates.


The idea of a family of English-speaking nations was useful in arguments about the rise of rival powers, like the United States, in the 19th century. It was useful when politicians were imagining, and telegraphing, the future of the British Empire between the world wars. And it was useful during the soul-searching about Britain’s place in the world that accompanied decolonization and Britain’s entry to the European Community.
Then, in the early 1990s, after the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union, those who were skeptical of Britain’s participation in the whole European project reinvented the Anglosphere, somewhat, as a way to imagine Britain’s future as a global, deregulated and privatized economy outside the European Union. It’s this idealized version of the Anglosphere that was an important part of why Britain, in June 2016, decided to leave the European Union.
Now, as the British government grapples with the fraught policy questions that leaving the union raises, the Anglosphere is a balm for those same Euroskeptics, who argue that Britain should just strike out on its own and make its own trade deals with some of the world’s leading economies, including the United States, Australia and New Zealand, as well as rising Asian powers like India.


But has the idea of the Anglosphere ever actually existed outside of the imaginations of British politicians?
The late-Victorian statesman Joseph Chamberlain tried to unite the settler dominions of the British Empire, like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, in a tariff union, but he was defeated by fierce resistance from free-traders, the City of London and working-class voters who responded to concerns that the price of food would rise as a result.


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After World War II, the Conservative leader Winston Churchill famously sought to place Britain at the critical intersection of the “three majestic circles” of the British Empire and Commonwealth, the English-speaking countries of North America and a “United Europe.” But at that point, British power was already on the wane. Instead, the Cold War world was dominated by the superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union. Churchill’s vision did not survive the changing economic and political realities of the 1950s and ’60s.
In the 1960s, the iconoclastic Conservative Enoch Powell railed against allowing subjects of the former British Empire to immigrate to Britain — a legacy of imperial overreach that he believed was endangering the culture and heritage of England. Powell thought that the only kind of national community that could prosper was one where its members share the same racial background, culture and customs. But — though he had his supporters — his attempts to prevent Commonwealth immigrants from making Britain their home was defeated by the growing diversity of multicultural Britain and the unwillingness of the Conservative Party to adopt his agenda.


Whenever anyone has tried to actually apply the idea of an Anglosphere, in its various guises, it has always collided with reality. Economic interest or politics or national security has never been enough to persuade the peoples of these different countries to enter into an Anglosphere alliance. And the current Brexit-loving advocates of a global Britain, leading the world in free trade, will meet the same fate.

President Trump may agree to a new trade deal with Britain, but it’s unlikely that Britain would decide the terms, a prospect that is fraught with political risks for the British government. Such a deal raises the specter of British voters eating chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef while watching the revered National Health Service being opened up to American multinationals.

For Australia and New Zealand, trade links with China and Asia are much more important than those with Britain. And Canada, as a member of Nafta, has long been oriented toward the massive American market. Security and intelligence cooperation among these states and Britain in the so-called Five Eyes group is critical, as is NATO membership, but this kind of cooperation does not require a new Anglosphere bloc.

In reality, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand show no inclination to join Britain in new political and economic alliances. More likely, they would rather continue to work within the existing institutions — like the European Union and the World Trade Organization — and remain indifferent to, or just perplexed by, Britain’s calls for some kind of formalized Anglosphere alliance.

Some pomp and ceremony on this visit might improve relations between Mrs. May and Mr. Trump, which reportedly are not very warm. But it’s sensible to be skeptical that Mr. Trump will think that the Anglosphere is any kind of answer for the United States, just as it has never really been the answer in the past.

Despite this, and despite its practical shortcomings, the idea of the Anglosphere will probably endure.

The tragedy of the different national orientations that have emerged in British politics after empire — whether pro-European, Anglo-American, Anglospheric or some combination of these — is that none of them has yet been the compelling, coherent and popular answer to the country’s most important question: How should Britain find its way in the wider, modern world?

As long as that is still being asked, the Anglosphere will continue to be an answer for some of Britain’s political dreamers.

Michael Kenny and Nick Pearce are authors of “Shadows of Empire: The Anglosphere in British Politics.”
I'll wager you have no idea why Ireland's GDP is high but its average wage so low, you silly little shrimp.
 
#24
Copying from the NY times, that's what the Americans have to say, some Anzacs and Canadians seem quite keen on it.
Some Americans. The NYT only writes for a certain cross section of society. Just like the BBC does not speak for all Brits. You have to read multiple sources of different political leanings to start developing a picture.
 
#25
Further to CANZUK, I suppose I should have checked published party policy before speculating on how seriously to take it.

It's official party policy for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) as adopted last August, as can be seen here: https://www.conservative.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/omkMTsRSdxqkVuc.pdf

The relevant section says:

152. CANZUK Treaty. CANZUK Treaty Implementation

Subject to thorough security & health checks, CPC will work to realize these objectives among CANZUK countries:
  • a) Free trade in goods/services
  • b) Visa-free labour/leisure mobility for citizens, including retirement relocation. Reciprocal healthcare agreement modeled on existing AU / NZ / UK bilaterals
  • c) Increased consumer choice/protection for travel
  • d) Security coordination
Of course the CPC are currently in opposition, and if they were in government then party policy declarations don't necessarily become government policy. However, it is clearly has the attention of people who will some day be in a position to implement it.

I have no idea how the idea is being received amongst the other proposed members.
 
#26
Further to add to CANZUK.
Increased push for free movement between Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada has endorsed it. The opposition shadow foreign affairs minister is also a big supporter of the idea. He thinks it may be part of the party election platform in the general election later this year (it is party policy but that does not necessarily mean it will be in the election manifesto).
Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, who serves as his party’s shadow minister of foreign affairs, is a vocal supporter of a CANZUK agreement and promised to implement the plan if he had won his party’s leadership in 2017. Even though he didn’t win the party leadership himself, O’Toole said Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has expressed interest in the idea.

In a statement to CTVNews.ca, Scheer said it “makes sense” for Canada to pursue freer trade and closer ties with the CANZUK countries.

“Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have a similar basis of law, they have a common democratic system, and they have the same types of legislation and regulations around investment and trade,” he said.

Scheer did clarify, however, that any multilateral agreement Canada signs must also account for national security concerns and strong border protection.

“I think it will make our platform, but that’s beyond my decision alone,” O’Toole explained. “I think over the spring, it’s something that will likely be there.”
Of course nothing is going to happen unless and until the UK is quite definitely fully out of the EU and able to make such agreements.
 
#27
Further to add to CANZUK.
Increased push for free movement between Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada has endorsed it. The opposition shadow foreign affairs minister is also a big supporter of the idea. He thinks it may be part of the party election platform in the general election later this year (it is party policy but that does not necessarily mean it will be in the election manifesto).

Of course nothing is going to happen unless and until the UK is quite definitely fully out of the EU and able to make such agreements.
Will it actually happen though? I would like it to. But is there enough of an impetus and backing behind it or is it just one of those would be nice to have but won't actually happen schemes?

Aus and NZ already have a free movement policy in place. Kind of like the UK and Ireland.

The interesting thing would be what would happen to the UK after Brexit. If it's a case of a hard exit with no free movement with the EU and a case of UK citizens having to get a visa like the rest of the non-EU people for work and stuff, maybe, just maybe something more easier freedom of movement with some other nations might be agreed upon - the first candidates would be AUS and NZ. They don't have huge populations and a lot of movement already goes on already through under 30 visas, ancestry visas etc and won't put a huge strain on the infra in the UK. However, the other way from the UK to AUS and NZ maybe a bit of problem, as the UK is close to 60 million and they are much much less.

And Canada, my neighbor to the north will be an interesting case. Sure, it can absorb UK movements into the country, but will again be in very densely populated areas.

A whole bunch of things depend on what happens after the end of March. And how UK wants to rekindle relationships with its exes. Interesting times ahead...
 
#28
Will it actually happen though? I would like it to. But is there enough of an impetus and backing behind it or is it just one of those would be nice to have but won't actually happen schemes?

Aus and NZ already have a free movement policy in place. Kind of like the UK and Ireland.

The interesting thing would be what would happen to the UK after Brexit. If it's a case of a hard exit with no free movement with the EU and a case of UK citizens having to get a visa like the rest of the non-EU people for work and stuff, maybe, just maybe something more easier freedom of movement with some other nations might be agreed upon - the first candidates would be AUS and NZ. They don't have huge populations and a lot of movement already goes on already through under 30 visas, ancestry visas etc and won't put a huge strain on the infra in the UK. However, the other way from the UK to AUS and NZ maybe a bit of problem, as the UK is close to 60 million and they are much much less.

And Canada, my neighbor to the north will be an interesting case. Sure, it can absorb UK movements into the country, but will again be in very densely populated areas.

A whole bunch of things depend on what happens after the end of March. And how UK wants to rekindle relationships with its exes. Interesting times ahead...
I have no idea if it will happen. It's a bold idea, and we're not used to bold ideas in Canada. It's already has the endorsement of a major party though, which is a lot more than I would have thought would happen when I first heard of it. It passed with 97% voting in favour of it at the last Conservative Party policy convention.

The big difference between something like this and the EU is that it's not a political union, it's an expanded trade agreement. There would be no CANZUK parliament or commission running things or making laws. It would be strictly a multi-lateral treaty between four countries with a common history, very similar political and legal backgrounds, similar educational levels, similar levels of income, and, with the exception of New Zealand, roughly similar in size of population (Australia has 37% of the population of the UK, Canada has 55%). No one country would be in a position to dominate the rest.

The difference between CANZUK and the "Anglosphere" (as used in the title) is that the "Anglosphere" can include the US, while CANZUK inherently excludes it.

For the UK the attraction would be to find new ties and deeper alliances in a post-Brexit world. The combined CANZUK population would be 131 million and combined nominal GDP would be $6.2 trillion. That wouldn't be an EU style monolithic and exclusive trade block, but it would be a deeper economic integration than most other trade deals open to the UK.

For Canada, it would mean deeper ties with a group of countries who are much less threatening than a Trumpian MAGA US has turned out to be. This may be why the idea seems to have the degree of interest in Canada that we are seeing. This may turn out to be a mirage, but it is a partial answer to a question which Canada has been asking itself. Even if Trump were to be defeated at the next election in the US, the past few years will not soon be forgotten. And without making a long story about it, problems set in before Trump under Obama and even before then, so it's not only Trump.

I can't answer for Australia and New Zealand. However, they and Canada happen to be economic competitors, selling many of the same things in many of the same markets while being further from the UK than Canada is. The scope for trade synergy is more limited so they may find the idea less compelling than focusing their efforts on Asia. Of course one does not exclude the other, so they can have both. Someone with a better understanding of the political and economic dynamics there might be better placed to answer that question.
 
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#29
Can anyone point out how the EU has prevented the UK from trading with the Canada, NZ, Oz etc?

CETA - EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

Towards an EU-Australia Trade Agreement

Towards an EU-New Zealand Trade Agreement


Seems like we've been trading with them nonetheless, with more comprehensive agreements currently in negotiations for Oz and NZ.

Edit to add

All this will need to be renegotiated from a position of weakness unless DIT persuades them to roll over current arrangements
 
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#30
I've been using this term for a few months now regarding the Brexit shenanigans and I was quietly hoping it would come to the forefront of our national policy. I finally heard it mentioned on Radio 4 today ergo I thought it deserves a thread of its own.

The idea of the Anglosphere is for Britain to forge closer ties with her English speaking allies and Commonwealth nations. Anglosphere - Wikipedia this may even result in Canadian/Australian/NZ passports waivers and ease of movement between countries. This makes far more sense to me as I'm far more likely to visit those countries than somewhere like Romania.

The government are also taking a greater interest in southeast Asia, which directly affects UK investment in that area, as well as supporting Aus NZ. We're even using and building the same ships as CANZAC.*

What do you guys think? Is it a goer? Unfortunately the Corbyn screamers will probably label it as racist as it only includes English speakers.

*
Canadian Type 26 Frigate contract awarded after legal challenge dismissed

Australia officially announces $26B frigate contract. Here are the build details

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe...-lethality-minister-says-20190212-p50x47.html
If memory serves the Aussies and Kiwis were pretty píssed when the UK "abandoned" them on joining the EEC.

The UK has been busily deporting unwanted members of the "Anglosphere" for some time now.

Every Romanian I've met speaks pretty good English.
 
#32
You're probably looking for this.
Main web page: Home
News: CANZUK International
Who is involved: The CANZUK International Team

With the last link above, be sure to read the list of people on the Political Advisory Board. There's a load of sitting MPs. opposition critics / shadow cabinet members, former cabinet ministers, and at least three serious recent major candidates for major party leadership. Some of the names on the Executive Board and Advisory Board seem well connected in the political and financial world as well. They're not a bunch of cranks, but I don't know to what degree they see this as a serious thing versus being a harmless hobby. I don't see any current government MPs there, but I wouldn't expect them to put their names on something like this that wasn't approved government policy.

I wouldn't care to even guess how seriously to take this, but it's probably what you should be following if this is what interests you.
I have no idea if it will happen. It's a bold idea, and we're not used to bold ideas in Canada. It's already has the endorsement of a major party though, which is a lot more than I would have thought would happen when I first heard of it. It passed with 97% voting in favour of it at the last Conservative Party policy convention.

The big difference between something like this and the EU is that it's not a political union, it's an expanded trade agreement. There would be no CANZUK parliament or commission running things or making laws. It would be strictly a multi-lateral treaty between four countries with a common history, very similar political and legal backgrounds, similar educational levels, similar levels of income, and, with the exception of New Zealand, roughly similar in size of population (Australia has 37% of the population of the UK, Canada has 55%). No one country would be in a position to dominate the rest.

The difference between CANZUK and the "Anglosphere" (as used in the title) is that the "Anglosphere" can include the US, while CANZUK inherently excludes it.

For the UK the attraction would be to find new ties and deeper alliances in a post-Brexit world. The combined CANZUK population would be 131 million and combined nominal GDP would be $6.2 trillion. That wouldn't be an EU style monolithic and exclusive trade block, but it would be a deeper economic integration than most other trade deals open to the UK.

For Canada, it would mean deeper ties with a group of countries who are much less threatening than a Trumpian MAGA US has turned out to be. This may be why the idea seems to have the degree of interest in Canada that we are seeing. This may turn out to be a mirage, but it is a partial answer to a question which Canada has been asking itself. Even if Trump were to be defeated at the next election in the US, the past few years will not soon be forgotten. And without making a long story about it, problems set in before Trump under Obama and even before then, so it's not only Trump.

I can't answer for Australia and New Zealand. However, they and Canada happen to be economic competitors, selling many of the same things in many of the same markets while being further from the UK than Canada is. The scope for trade synergy is more limited so they may find the idea less compelling than focusing their efforts on Asia. Of course one does not exclude the other, so they can have both. Someone with a better understanding of the political and economic dynamics there might be better placed to answer that question.
Polls have shown a majority in favour in Australia and New Zealand and while not official party policy, Simon Bridges, current leader of the NZ opposition (and largest party) has expressed his support. The people who seem the least keen on it, according to polling, are us. With regards to Canada and the opposition policy, nice but can't see them ever getting in any time soon.

As much as I would love to see this happen, I suspect it will come to nothing much. I'd vote for it though.
 
#33
The Frogs call their version La Francophonie - and its 160M strong according to my old OU course lit.

There's an old joke that France never gave up it's African colonies, merely held them at arms length for a while.

This amusing visualisation of the World as a flat object* may help :





It may come as news to the Vietnamese that they are still French speakers.....




* It is of course a disc , supported on the back of four elephants who stand in turn on the shell of the Great A'Tuin....as any fule kno.
This is your classical example of the French ego being bigger than any other part of the French brain.
 
#34
The reason the UK should be able to arrange decent trade deals with the anglophone countries are many and varied. A common language reduces the chances of 'interpretation' of the treaty in translation, the common acceptance of the 'rule of law' makes it less likely a foreign government will see this as 'a treaty you obey while we do what we want', the essentially capitalist positions of all parties limits imbalance caused by government interference in industry. That said politicians are thick and venal and civil servants are lazy so anything could happen.
 
#35
The reason the UK should be able to arrange decent trade deals with the anglophone countries are many and varied. A common language reduces the chances of 'interpretation' of the treaty in translation, the common acceptance of the 'rule of law' makes it less likely a foreign government will see this as 'a treaty you obey while we do what we want', the essentially capitalist positions of all parties limits imbalance caused by government interference in industry. That said politicians are thick and venal and civil servants are lazy so anything could happen.
The problem is not that civil servants are lazy, the problem is they have a tendency to over complicate things. For example when an EU directive was published years ago, the original covered two pages of A4. The Germans reduced it to just two, of of which was diagrams. Our Government turned it into over fifty pages...

What was it @bobthebuilder said about 'agency behaviours'?
 
#36
The problem is not that civil servants are lazy, the problem is they have a tendency to over complicate things. For example when an EU directive was published years ago, the original covered two pages of A4. The Germans reduced it to just two, of of which was diagrams. Our Government turned it into over fifty pages...

What was it @bobthebuilder said about 'agency behaviours'?
This is your classic public servant work creation while achieving nothing action. Expanding two pages to fifty took time and showed they were all working very hard. It has however no real measurable outcome so they couldn't fail to achieve their goal. In the long term 50 pages discourages people from doing whatever the directive was about doing [in particular if allows the minister to be told he can't do X because the directive does not permit it] thus minimising the work of the civil servants responsible for policing the policy on actually making something happen.
Look at the mess over Universal Credit; the plan, if it had been implemented sensibly, would have been a disaster for the civil service, one system instead of many needs fewer people to administer. So they have deliberately F**ked up it's introduction to create as much hardship as possible in the hope that the minister will lose their nerve and scrap the whole plan.
 
#37
Australian trade figures with China are 6 times those of its trade with the UK
Raw materials, such as coal, iron ore & gas form a not insignificant part. Not something that's viable with the UK.
Then there's location.
 
#38
Can anyone point out how the EU has prevented the UK from trading with the Canada, NZ, Oz etc?
The discussion was predicated on the UK having Brexited, otherwise the question is completely moot.

(...) All this will need to be renegotiated from a position of weakness unless DIT persuades them to roll over current arrangements
Continuation of trade on existing terms after Brexit was agreed to with Canada some time ago, with both PMs announcing it at a meeting in Ottawa.
 
#39
The reason the UK should be able to arrange decent trade deals with the anglophone countries are many and varied. A common language reduces the chances of 'interpretation' of the treaty in translation, the common acceptance of the 'rule of law' makes it less likely a foreign government will see this as 'a treaty you obey while we do what we want', the essentially capitalist positions of all parties limits imbalance caused by government interference in industry. That said politicians are thick and venal and civil servants are lazy so anything could happen.

What does the UK have to offer that Australia wants to buy considering that the UK is 10000nm further away than SE Asia?
 
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