The United Kingdom’s trade minister, Liam Fox, was in Toronto and Montreal this week, pursuing the Brexiteers’ dream of returning the Commonwealth to its ancient glory. Like virtually every British politician I’ve observed out in the world, Fox has a way with oratory. He endeared himself to his audience in Montreal by sharing that his father taught French in Scotland. (“That’s why I speak French with a Scottish accent,” he said.)
And like virtually every British politician I’ve observed out in the world, Fox hasn’t quite come to grips with the fact that his country no longer is a top-tier global power. He called Canada one of Britain’s “longest-serving and closest allies.” (Emphasis mine.) Once Brexit is done, the government of Theresa May would very much like to do a free-trade agreement with the successor state of the North American colonies that behaved themselves during the later half of the 1700s. Listening to Fox, you get the impression that over in London, they assume Canada will be eager to serve once more.
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