Britain's new Foreign Secretary and Trade Minister back CX recommendations

The UK's new Prime Minister is in the process of appointing her first Cabinet. There is already good news for CX and Commonwealth supporters, most notably in the appointments of Boris Johnson and Liam Fox.

Both are friends to Commonwealth Exchange and have written forewords to our reports. Here are key excerpts:

"It seems that almost all parts of the Commonwealth are brimming with a new energy and optimism, at precisely the time that the European Union is struggling. As we reconsider Britain’s place in the world, I want us to reconsider how we engage with Commonwealth peoples...

"...The UK has bonds of history, language, law, family and customs across the world and we would be foolish not to make more of these at this time of profound global economic revival."

- Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in his foreword to our report "How to Solve a Problem like a Visa"

"It may just be that the Commonwealth could be coming of age in the right way at the right time. It is a time to be bold."

 - Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, in his foreword to our report "The Commonwealth's Call to Duty"

Following the UK's vote to leave the EU, it is vital that the Commmonwealth is at the heart of our plans for trade, migration, security, and more. Find our full Brexit plan here.

Media wishing to arrange interviews or request a comment should email or call the media mobile listed here.

CX's plan for Brexit

As the dust settles on the UK's vote to leave the EU, the big question on everyones' lips is: What Now?

It is clear that the UK will have to negotiate a deal with the remaining EU but how should it go about it? And what about the rest of the world? Will free movement continue? Or perhaps be adapted to include a different set or subset of nations?

Commonwealth Exchange (CX) has a full plan for what to do next. Written by CX Directors Ralph Buckle and Tim Hewish, the plan was initially submitted to the Institute of Economic Affairs' Brexit Prize (in Tim's name) where it claimed a place on the podium and wide renown.

Since then, the plan has also been published as part of the IEA's "Brexit: Directions for Britain Outside the EU"

In addition, CX has published additional research around the topic, particularly focusing on immigration and trade policy:

Media wishing to arrange interviews or request a comment should email or call the media mobile listed here.

The launch of our new paper on Commonwealth security connections

On Wednesday CX launched its newest report "The Commonwealth's Call to Duty - Advancing modern Commonwealth defence connections."

We were joined by our guest of honour, and author of the report's foreword, The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP (Former Secretary of State for Defence).

You can download the report here and check out some photos from the launch below.

The report was also covered by Breitbart here.

UK Foreign Secretary delivers barnstorming pro-Commonwealth speech in Singapore

The UK's Foreign Secretary has delivered a fantastic speech in Singapore highlighting our close links, promoting the Commonwealth, and making the uncompromising case for more free trade.

Too often, even when the links that bind member states together are recognised, they are seen only in the bilateral sense, and not as part of the incredible network of networks that is the Commonwealth. It's great to see the Foreign Secretary explicitly recognising this and following on with his predecessor's pledge to put the 'C' back in FCO.

You can read the full speech here but we've collected some of the highlights below.

On our shared history:

"We have been part of the Singapore story for two centuries. Along with Australia and New Zealand, two of the stops on my current trip, our history is so closely interwoven that we have ties which the oceans cannot loosen."

“Our historical, cultural and commercial links mean the UK already enjoys thriving ties with the Asia Pacific region.”

On the Commonwealth diaspora in the UK:

Britain boasts a leading financial and creative hub, one of the world’s few truly global cities and is home to many vibrant Asian communities: 37,000 UK residents were born here in Singapore; 175,000 in Australia and New Zealand combined;

On the rule of law:

"In the UK, in the Commonwealth, and beyond, it has had a profound impact in the development of the rule of law, strong institutions and accountable government on which our societies have built enduring prosperity and stability. Nowhere is this truer than here in Singapore where there is a close correlation between the rule of law and the prosperity generated by global investment."

“These shared traditions bind the wider region, and beyond. Indeed, judges from the UK, Australia and New Zealand sit on the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong, where the rule of law has been a fundamental component of continuing economic success.”

On our shared values and language:

"Geographical distance has been no barrier to the development of shared values between the UK and countries in the region. With three of the countries that I am visiting – Singapore, Australia and New Zealand – we not only share a common language but common law traditions and Commonwealth membership as well. The same applies, of course, to India – that giant of democracy and integral part of the rising Asia story."

"We share with you in Singapore the worldwide language of business, science and engineering."

"It is a convenient truth that human rights, prosperity and security are mutually reinforcing. For example, the free flow of ideas and innovation - the life-blood of economic growth coursing through the veins of the free Asian nations, is a driver of economic growth, and a key differentiator in favour of democracy."

On free trade:

"Free trade is in Britain’s DNA and that is the code that is unlocking prosperity across the Asia Pacific region. So it is in all our interests to maintain the momentum behind trade and investment liberalisation in the region."

"[It is] bringing new levels of prosperity to the people of this continent; new opportunities for global trade; and higher standards of living for all."

On defence

"Britain is also a party, alongside Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand to the Five Powers Defence Arrangements – still the only formal multilateral defence arrangements in South East Asia."

“That means we are ready and able to mobilise in support of Asia Pacific allies friends and partners… As we did in response to Typhoon Haiyan, facilitated by the Royal Naval presence here in Singapore and again when the world came together in search of missing Malaysian airliner MH370.”

On trade and investment between the UK and Singapore:

“the fundamentals have never been better for flourishing trade and investment relationships between the UK and the Asia Pacific region. The statistics tell the story: in Singapore alone there are over 1,000 British companies.

On the UK as a Commonwealth gateway to Europe:

"Nearly three quarters of Singapore’s investment into the EU goes to the UK."

“I hope the EU and Singapore will match this by implementing the FTA between them in the very near future. It should be the precursor to... further FTAs with Asia Pacific economies, including Australia and New Zealand.”

"Britain’s economy is on the move too. Ambassador, you said in your introductory remarks that Britain was the world’s sixth largest economy and I don’t often engage in Schadenfreude with my French neighbours, but we are now the world’s fifth largest economy!"

“few western countries can claim to know Asia as well as Britain.”

And finally, on the future of our relationships:

“the UK Government has not and will not let itself be distracted from the importance of building strategic relationships for Britain across the Asia Pacific region which are fit for the 21st Century.”

“The threats we face together as challenges to our common prosperity, to the values that bind us, and to civilisation itself can only be overcome through the kinds of partnership the UK is already developing across this region”

 “The UK and the countries of the Asia Pacific region are already working as partners for a safer and more prosperous world. But I firmly believe the best is yet to come; that the most important chapter of our shared history is the one we are about to write together.”

Canada's Commonwealth Century: CX essay now available

Commonwealth Trade dinner August 8, 2013

Our Executive Director's extended essay  is now available from the Atlantic Council of Canada's Business Opportunities in the Commonwealth event in August 2013.

Canada is primed to seize the Commonwealth advantage. It has the ability to pivot from the traditional Atlantic and the Caribbean, whilst looking to the African continent, and then simultaneously turning to the Pacific. Therefore, Canada is uniquely placed to be the new centre point of the Commonwealth.

You can download a copy here.

Commonwealth Trade dinner August 8, 2013