Strong Case for a North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement

Downing Street says of the suggestion that the UK joins the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), “That’s not an approach we are currently taking.” According to The Sun’s political editor, Harry Cole, a proposal was raised with Secretary of State Blinken in New York this week. Before Trump’s tinkering the USMCA deal was known as NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. The NAFTA acronym could return if Britain signed up to the trade agreement, this time standing for the “North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement”.

The advantages of signing up to the existing agreement versus negotiating a bespoke agreement are;

  • It is off the shelf and ready to go, vital national interests have been incorporated already and little changes would need to be incorporated
  • The UK would be joining a sovereignty-respecting free trade agreement, not an ever closer union with pretensions to nationhood
  • The new bloc would be the richest free trading bloc in the world

There is also another reason it might appeal to Joe Biden to expedite a deal in this form. A North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement between Britain and the nations of North America would see exports going literally over Ireland, which would be geographically smack bang in the middle of the zone. The Republic of Ireland carries out more trade in dollars and sterling than it does in euros, the Irish are far more pro-American than they are pro-European, the ties of kinship with cousins in the US are very strong. Not least with Joe Biden himself…

The EU’s negatives are increasing for Ireland, tax harmonisation, the Commission’s habit of punishing US multinational corporations based in the low tax, high tech economy. Relatively rich Ireland is now a net contributor to the EU to the tune of billions. Also the militarisation of the EU, something that the Irish people were promised at the time of the treaty referendum would never happen, presents a constitutional challenge to Ireland’s neutrality. Ireland was afforded guarantees under the Lisbon Treaty which would maintain the country’s traditional policy of military neutrality – the EU is set on becoming a military power, arguably Dublin could trigger a referendum. That could lead to Ireland leaving the EU and joining the bigger trading bloc along with Britain. Which would also solve the Northern Ireland border problems…

mdi-timer 23 September 2021 @ 12:58 23 Sep 2021 @ 12:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments