The subject of Brexit and the European Union offers an enormous opportunity for the U.K. and Commonwealth, despite the obvious anxiety of a country having to renegotiate its trading relationships.
That Britain is leaving the European Union is an odd thing for the former greatest colonial power in the world. The irony is that when the Empire was unwound after World War II, British bureaucrats had to devolve dozens of colonial power relationships that it ruled. Today, the Brussels boot is on the other foot, as Britain seeks to extricate itself from its unwittingly gained colonial master, Brussels.
Britain took the devolution of power seriously in its colonial realm. It most cases, Britain left with dignity, and in many cases, and quite archaically, kept the Queen as head of state. In the case of Israel, it turned over the future of Palestine to the United Nations. The U.S., when it left the Philippines and Panama Canal Zone, also turned over power in a dignified way. This is a practical matter; if you want good future relationships with that former colonial power, you devolve power in a clean, elegant, and respectful way. This precedent was set by Lord Mountbatten, who when faced with the prospect of losing India, sent them to independence with great dignity. Brussels would do well to understand this, as Britain will forever be located next Europe. Continue reading