The Canadian minister of External Affairs and the British foreign minister have announced a sensible program of sharing facilities in certain posts abroad in an effort to find economies and maximize their shared policy thrust where circumstances warrant. The critics have raised the alarm of returning to our colonial past when we were a ward of Great Britain and before that of France. But we haven’t been that in the case of France for 250 years and in the case of Britain for almost a century. But we are cousin peoples at least for those who use English as their working and living language. Indeed many of us have family links with Britain as we do with France and the U.S. Just as those who use French feel justifiably a certain closeness to France and the francophonie similar sentiments exist with respect to Britain. Great Britain in fact is one of our biggest trading partners after the U.S. accounting for over 30 billion dollars of trade and the recipient of over 19 billion dollars of our exports.(See table below courtesy of Statistics Canada) Trade with France in 2010 by comparison amounted to 7.7 billion ,2.3 billion in exports and 5.3 billion in imports. Together Canada and Britain account for over 90 million people of the English speaking world. Britain , Canada and the U.S. successfully fought as close allies during the second world war and although we have not always agreed on foreign policy we often do.We share many common cultural values, a common parliamentary system and the more that Canada grows closer to Europe through trade, education, travel, work exchange and commerce the more opportunities there will be for mutual co-operation that benefits both countries. It seems to me that given that this trading relationship is one of our fastest growing bilateral relationships ( Canada-U.K. trade is more than 4 times as large as
Canada -France trade) it is sensible to further cultivate it as we look to diversify our trade and have a counter weight to our large dependence upon American markets.We have very little to lose and plenty to gain in terms of diversifying our trade and bilateral relationships. For the time being we are talking only about certain administrative cost savings but over time other areas of co-operation may well develop.
|Other European Union2||20,903.7||24,392.7||25,173.5||19,010.3||19,475.8||22,978.2|
|All other countries||33,237.6||39,073.5||47,013.1||40,625.8||44,075.7||52,682.6|
|Other European Union2||32,547.5||32,403.7||35,461.4||30,240.5||30,788.3||35,280.8|
|All other countries||61,632.4||66,122.7||76,495.7||63,730.4||74,451.1||86,730.1|
|Other European Union2||-11,643.8||-8,011.0||-10,287.9||-11,230.2||-11,312.5||-12,302.6|
|All other countries||-28,394.8||-27,049.2||-29,482.6||-23,104.6||-30,375.4||-34,047.5|
|1. Also includes Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands
2. Other European Union includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
3. Other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) includes Australia, Canada, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey.
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 228-0003.
Last modified: 2012-05-10.
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