Democrat Editorial by John Boyd April-May 2000 (Number 43)
No escape to North America (NAFTA)
Out of the frying and into the fire
Some pundits in Conservative Party circles and others
have floated the idea, and not for the first time, that Britain would
be better off in the North American Free Trade Alliance than as a
member of the European Union. NAFTA includes the USA, Canada and Mexico.
The first point to make is such a course of action would involve being ruled and administered from a centre on a different continent, across an ocean and two thousand miles away.
A result of NAFTA has been rising unemployment in Canada as jobs and investment were shifted to Mexico where wages were much lower and where social protection was virtually non-existent. The parallel to this is the expansion of the EU eastwards into central and eastern Europe where production and wages costs are lower. For instance BMW and other transnationals are shifting more and more production in that direction.
Proposals for Britain joining NAFTA stems from several historical reasons. The most prominent being membership of NATO, the outdated cold war alliance dominated by the USA. Britain has also been heavily reliant on the USA military nuclear umbrella to protect vested interests around the world. The end of the cold war cleared away the fog of outdated mind sets and made clear USA foreign policy. The USA is looking after her own interests and in fact has always done so since the second world war.
There is a growing competition between all the former imperialist powers in the "new world order" and so called "globalisation". An object is to muscle a way into any trouble spot in the world or even stir them up to form a pretext for doing so.
Britain is involved up to the hilt in European Union with the Blair government set on joining the single currency, supporting a Common Foreign and Security Policy with a European Army and other common policies with common taxation and judicial system around the corner if it is not stopped.
The real answer is not to be mixed up with either European Union or NAFTA and instead for Britain to be independent and decide her own policies, trade across the world and have once again an economy based on manufacturing and trade. If this is not achieved what is the working class and small capital in Britain going to do?
All of us cannot push computer keys or shuffle paper. Somebody somewhere has to create wealth.
There is no escape from the common sense demand to re-establish in full the right to self determination for Britain. In the longer run this entails Britain withdrawing altogether from European Union and keeping out of NAFTA. To join NAFTA would be like jumping out of a hot frying pan into a fierce fire.
The right to self determination is a common problem facing most countries in the world but especially those in the misnamed "Third World". They are asking to be able to trade on the world market without being tied down by diktats from the World Trade Organisation, World Bank or International Monetary Fund. These less well off countries want the right to self determination. In turn that is what real internationalism is about and would benefit the peoples of Britain.
Note on cartoon - The Mayas were a pre-Colombus conquest people whose civilization was largely broken up but elements of their culture and language still exist today. We acknowledge and thank the cartoonist for this work.