Key Commonwealth body opens US base
and BRITAIN’S hopes of deepening links with America following Brexit have received a boost after a major Commonwealth body announced it was opening a US branch.
The Royal Commonwealth Society, which was founded in 1868 and counts the Queen as its patron, is establishing a presence in the American state of Mississippi. The move is an attempt to build on similarities in language, culture and trade that exist between the Commonwealth countries and America.
It has added significance given both Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and Donald Trump, the American president, have signalled their desire for a UK-US trade deal after Brexit. Indeed one of Mr Trump’s close allies, Phil Bryant, the governor of Mis- sissippi, has agreed to serve as the branch’s chairman of the board of governance.
Officials from both Britain and the US have already held scoping talks for the trade deal, which can only be signed once the UK formally leaves the EU in March 2019.
Eurosceptics played up the chance of Britain reconnecting with Commonwealth countries outside of the EU at last year’s referendum.
Since the vote to leave, a flurry of working groups with countries including India, Australia and New Zealand have been established in the hope of a post-Brexit trade boost.
Explaining the decision to create a US branch, a spokesman for the Royal Commonwealth Society played up the countries’ shared values. “The fraternal links between the UK and the USA are strong,” the spokesman said.