An Anglophone Union

A section for discussion of a hypothetical model for social, political and economic co-operation among of the major Anglophone countries.

© April 2017 Tom Rogers

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What I am proposing here is an Anglophone Union ('AU'), which would consist of the following countries and territories:

New Zealand
The Crown Dependencies - i.e. the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
British Overseas Territories

The majority of these have populations that are overwhelmingly white European - specifically of British descent - and one of the central policy objectives of the AU would be to maintain the overall white racial identity of the Union and the Euro-ethnic identities of the individual Union States.

Unlike the EU, the AU would not have as its central goal the integration ("ever closer union") of the Anglophone World. Instead of integration, the AU's underlying goals would be more complex, and in some respects quite paradoxical, reflecting both the opportunities and threats of globalisation.

At the bilateral level, the AU would aim for "competition and co-operation" in the Anglophone World. At the multi-lateral, non-state and sub-state levels, the AU would seek to encourage trade and co-operation between private actors, both within and without the Anglophone Union. The AU would not be a protectionist union, but would instead seek to balance the realities of a global environment with the need to preserve the essential national character and culture of the Anglophone states.

Governing structure

The AU would be formed as an English private limited company, limited by guarantee, and would seek to exercise the quasi-state powers permitted of such an entity.

The company directors of the AU would be the executive heads of government of the relevant AU states and territories. The members of the AU would be the members of the parliaments of each Union State, with each 'national class' permitted to select and de-select their own nominated Board member.

The AU would have Articles of Association, which would be the foundational rules of the new organisation as well as the constitution of the Company itself. The Articles would set out the aims and objectives of the AU thus:

"To administer a loose confederation between Union States based on the preservation of the racial and ethnic identities of their peoples and the furtherance of trade and other areas of social, cultural, economic and other co-operation as seems expedient."

There would be no parliament, capital, flag, anthem or bureaucracy or any of the other accoutrements of a embryonic state. The AU would not be a state or confederation or any other category of political entity. There would be no governing mechanism for the AU beyond the Company itself. The AU's directors would form a Co-ordinating Committee that might meet quarterly. Proxies of the members would convene as an annual assembly (and as an extraordinary assembly, as and when needed), whose sole role would be to elect the Committee and deal with other immediate aspects of corporate governance, as well as debate and approve the admission of new Union States. There would also be a procedure for the removal or suspension of a parliamentary delegation from membership where the relevant Union State is in breach of AU trade rules.

AU competences

In contrast to the EU, the Articles of the AU would be more in the 'English' political tradition and would affirm a commitment to the principle of subsidiarity and respect for sovereignty. Each Union State would remain an independent sovereign state with its own constitutional arrangements, and domestic, foreign and defence and immigration policies, and so on.

AU competency would be restricted to deciding trade rules and agreeing on other areas of non-mandatory co-operation.

AU surveillance and conformity

The AU would need to appoint a small surveillance agency to ensure compliance with trade rules among Union States, and also various compliance agencies to uphold and enforce standards and grant conformity assessments and clearances. Where possible, Union States can co-opt their existing bureaucracies for these tasks, and where agencies are needed at 'AU-level', private sector contractors would be appointed to undertake the relevant work.

Disputes between private individuals and states could be resolved by a dedicated arbitration service.

The special case of Ireland

Ireland (rightly) values its separate identity to Britain. Whether it is acknowledged or not, Ireland is strategically important to Britain, and at the same time, Britain is important to Ireland as the closest nation that shares the British Isles with it. There is also a private recognition among the Irish that 'Britishness' forms an important part of their identity, not least because the ancestors of the native Irish were the original Britons.

Ireland has a tendency to align with Europe (much like the so-called 'nationalists' in Scotland) in order to assert its independence from Britain, which is strange as Britain and Ireland seem natural allies. Ideally I would wish the Irish Question to be resolved by what I call a process of re-unification. This would entail the re-unification of Britain and Ireland under a loose confederation, in which Ireland retains sovereignty and its status as a republic, and has its own constitution, foreign policy, tax system, defence force and immigration policy, but certain of these powers are exercised within broadly agreed parameters - for example, an Irish immigration policy cannot threaten the ethnic Irish character of Ireland or the native ethnic groups of the rest of the British & Irish Union. The two countries would share services and competencies, including a single currency (pound in Britain, punt in Ireland), a common travel and customs area, and there would be some co-ordination on major aspects of fiscal and economic policy. Northern Ireland would remain part of Britain.

A British and Irish Union as part of a wider Anglophone Union would provide Ireland with an alternative to the EU, in which it would be open to Ireland to forge relationships with other English-speaking countries.

Associate Members

The other (non-white) nations of the Commonwealth could be Associate Members, as could some sub-state regions of non-Anglophone countries, and even non-state actors. This could be on all kinds of bases, including cultural affinity with the Anglophone world or with ethnic groups within Anglophone countries - such as Gaelic-speaking regions like Breton and Galicia.

Exclusion of the United States

I am anti-American by instinct and would not favour the inclusion of the United States in an Anglophone Union. Unlike Canada, the USA is a foreign country proper with a very different society to Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and quite dissimilar in important ways even to Canada.

There is a more substantive reason for excluding the Americans, which is that the United States is a super-power in its own right and its membership would create an unhealthy imbalance within the Union, with US interests likely to predominate, especially in foreign policy areas.

Global Preferential Trade Area

Associate Members of the Union and the Union States would together make up a broader Global Preferential Trade Area ('GPTA'), which would be based philosophically on the principles of comparative advantage. No member of the GPTA would be committed to damaging its own strategic economic interests through harmful free trade arrangements and all member states would retain domestic sovereignty and the freedom to join and withdraw at will under standing orders that would codify transitional arrangements for accession and secession.