Can The Commonwealth Become A Serious Competitor To The European Union?
Negotiation processes between the European Union and the United Kingdom around Brexit, the prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, have been extremely complex.
Many speculate the UK will never leave the EU or if it does, she would most likely receive unfavourable terms, which can hurt her economical conditions. Therefore, the UK needs to possess several options for her future whether the UK will leave the EU or not.
The Commonwealth is a sleeping dragon in world affairs, it has lots economic potential in the global economy. It has 52 member states in five continents. Member states include the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand and many others. The Commonwealth includes 2.3 billion people and 60 percent of them are under 30-years-old. GDP was 17 trillion dollars (USD), which includes 20 percent of the global economy.
At the moment the Commonwealth is not a full free-trade zone between member states, but this could become a vision for the association, which would boost the world economy and be a solution for post-Brexit UK. At the same time, the Commonwealth should be interested to accept new member states in order to strengthen its global position and increase its market share in the global economy.
Having created a new single market within the Commonwealth, it should proceed by removing trade barriers with the EU, if the UK has left the EU, and with the United States, and many other countries as well. One the key advantages for the Commonwealth is that the association has member states in five continents, and this creates a competitive advantage against other organisations if the Commonwealth can create a dynamic internal market and enhance trade relations with non-members.
For the UK Brexit is quite problematic because business life benefits of exports. 51.4 percent of British goods exports go to the EU and 6.6 percent of EU goods exports go to Britain. Therefore, it is vital for both parties not to disrupt current supply and value chains between businesses because this would harm economic growth on both sides but especially in the UK.
The Commonwealth would be one of the largest economies in the world if it would be treated as a single country. In contrast, in 2016 the EU was the second largest economy in the world by representing 22.8 percent of nominal global GDP. The Commonwealth might become the second largest economy if the UK would leave the EU, and the EU might become the third largest economy as a result.
The EU would also lose a powerful negotiator, the UK, which has negotiated and began negotiations with several Commonwealth member states, which are open for free trade.
If Brexit happens, the EU would lose an important and influential member state and there is a risk that the EU would face “a new” global competitor in the world economy. Therefore, if the EU wants the UK to stay as a member, the EU should listen to the UK more carefully. Otherwise the Commonwealth 2.0 might become a reality – but it can become a reality without the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.