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Many people in its constituent countries have never heard of it, or know the name only because of the games. Both its longevity and its apparent importance owe a lot to the enthusiasm of the Queen and the international affection for her. Until the run-up to Brexit, the notion that the Commonwealth offered the UK economic salvation would have been comic. And the Commonwealth itself had not been idle. But to the Brexiteer, the Commonwealth offered more than the prospect of increased trade from a very low base: Australia takes 1.

Before the referendum, it was also talked up as an alternative source of immigrants, and better-quality immigrants, the kind we could pick and choose, at that. The question is, from which particular part?

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Hewish picked up the idea and published a paper for Commonwealth Exchange that extended it to Canada and New Zealand. The paper did suggest that the approach could be extended to other Commonwealth nations — once they were more economically developed. Perhaps this would include countries in south Asia, Africa or the Caribbean, which just as many, if not more, Britons are as deeply connected to, culturally and emotionally, as others are to Australia.

The host runs the risk of turning into the most unpopular guest.

Time to stitch together a Commonwealth free trade bloc - India Inc Group

The original incorrectly said a paper by Tim Hewish excluded south Asian, African and Caribbean nations from its proposals. In fact the paper did suggest that the approach could be extended to other Commonwealth nations — once they were more economically developed.

From London to Lagos; Why the Commonwealth is Relevant to Nigeria

The average time for these negotiations has been a couple of years - not the decade-plus it takes for the EU to sign off on a deal. We have three times the population of Australia, and twice the GDP. If Australia can be a global player then so can Great Britain - and even more so. We just need freedom from the EU and the confidence to do it. This puts an independent trade policy in jeopardy. The new Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, for example, showed a reluctance to accept the Chequers proposal when he was the Treasurer of Australia.

The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs

This might well prevent the much-desired FTA with his country. If the Chequers proposal is eventually accepted by the EU, Global Britain will become a mere pipedream, and the control the Great British Public voted for in the EU Referendum will be overshadowed in the name of the status quo, shackling us to the EU for the foreseeable future.

It is vitally important to spread the message of optimism to counter the naysayers on the Remain side.

Tory MP calls for post-Brexit trade to focus on Commonwealth

The Great British Public are not stupid. Fortunately for us, there is a booming market ready for Global Britain to tap into, and be rewarded for, for many many years to come. We are wholly dependent on the kindness of our readers for our continued work. We thank you in advance for any support you can offer.

Follow TheCommentator. Bungling Brexit or leading the Commonwealth? In terms of population size, GDP growth, and diversity of people and geography, the EU does not come close. At the beginning of the 17th century, England and Wales contained more than four million people. The population had nearly doubled over the previous century, and it continued to grow for another 50 years. The heaviest concentrations of population were in the southeast and along the coasts. Population increase created severe social and economic problems, not the least of which was a long-term price inflation.


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English society was predominantly rural , with as much as 85 percent of its people living on the land. About small market towns of several hundred inhabitants facilitated local exchange, and, in contrast to most of western Europe, there were few large urban areas. Norwich and Bristol were the biggest provincial cities, with populations of around 15, Exeter , York , and Newcastle were important regional centres, though they each had about 10, inhabitants. Only London could be ranked with the great Continental cities. Its growth had outstripped even the doubling of the general population.

By the beginning of the 17th century, it contained more than a quarter of a million people and by the end nearly half a million, most of them poor migrants who flocked to the capital in search of work or charity. London was the centre of government, of overseas trade and finance, and of fashion, taste, and culture. It was ruled by a merchant oligarchy , whose wealth increased tremendously over the course of the century as international trade expanded. London not only ruled the English mercantile world, but it also dominated the rural economy of the southeast by its insatiable demand for food and clothing.

The rural economy was predominately agricultural, with mixed animal and grain husbandry practiced wherever the land allowed. The population increase, however, placed great pressure upon the resources of local communities , and efforts by landlords and tenants to raise productivity for either profit or survival were the key feature of agricultural development. Systematic efforts to grow luxury market crops like wheat, especially in the environs of London, drove many smaller tenants from the land. So too did the practice of enclosure , which allowed for more productive land use by large holders at the expense of their poorer neighbours.

There is evidence of a rural subsistence crisis lasting throughout the first two decades of the century. Marginally productive land came under the plow, rural revolts became more common, and harvest failures resulted in starvation rather than hunger, both in London and in the areas remote from the grain-growing lowlands—such as north Wales and the Lake District. It was not until the middle of the century that the rural economy fully recovered and entered a period of sustained growth.

A nation that could barely feed itself in was an exporter of grain by In the northeast and southwest the harsher climate and poorer soils were more suited for sheep raising than for large-scale cereal production. The northeast and southwest were the location of the only significant manufacturing activity in England, the woolen cloth industry. Wool was spun into large cloths for export to Holland , where the highly technical finishing processes were performed before it was sold commercially.

Because spinning and weaving provided employment for thousands of families, the downturn of the cloth trade at the beginning of the 17th century compounded the economic problems brought about by population increase. The economic divide between rich and poor, between surplus and subsistence producers, was a principal determinant of rank and status. English society was organized hierarchically with a tightly defined ascending order of privileges and responsibilities. This hierarchy was as apparent in the family as it was in the state. In the family, as elsewhere, male domination was the rule; husbands ruled their wives, masters their servants, parents their children.


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But if hierarchy was stratified, it was not ossified; those who attained wealth could achieve status. The social hierarchy reflected gradations of wealth and responded to changes in the economic fortunes of individuals.