This article first appeared in Canada's Financial Post newspaper and is presented with the permission of the author
Why is the U.K. leaving the European Union? Because, although for many years the British were happy to have a close geopolitical alliance with like-minded countries of similar levels of economic development, building trade links, converging regulatory systems, and ever-closer collaboration, in the end the British did not have quite enough cultural and constitutional similarity with their partners to take the final steps towards political union. It also didn’t help that, towards the end, the alliance included countries of much lower income levels.
If that is why the British are leaving, the natural question is: are there any countries out there with similar values and similar income levels with whom the British have greater cultural and constitutional similarity? That is obviously a question that answers itself: Canada, Australia and New Zealand are closer to Britain, constitutionally and culturally, than anywhere in Europe. And their income levels are fairly similar: in 2014, the U.K. had a GDP per capita of about US$46,000, versus US$44,000 for New Zealand, US$50,000 for Canada and Australia a little higher at US$62,000.
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