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Goodbye NAFTA, Hello EU

2006_7_14euflag.gifGuardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash argues in his latest column that he wants Canada to join the European Union and that he came to this conclusion after seeing the multicultural and happy World Cup celebrations here in Toronto.

Driving through Toronto last week I saw a shiny black 4×4 with an English flag sticking out of one side window and a German flag out of the other. Presumably a Canadian family of mixed English and German origin, so rooting for both teams in the World Cup. A little later I saw a car with the Portuguese flag on one side and the Italian on the other.
It occurred to me that this pretty much sums up what we’ve been trying to achieve in Europe since the second world war. Welcome to the European Union – in Canada.

He goes on to point out that our entry into the EU would be much easier than Turkey’s, which had many member states questioning that country’s human rights record, or poorer Eastern European countries still emerging from decades of Soviet rule. Here in Canada we’re only emerging from a decade of Liberal rule that sometimes felt like a dictatorship. Sure our historical ties with the EU aren’t quite as strong as Turkey, who at one point tried to invade Western Europe but with our Anglo and Francophone populations we should have the backing of two powerful member states, add in our Italian and Portuguese diaspora and we have a lock.
Ash points out though that our integration with the US would make our inclusion into the EU a little strange, but lets consider the fact that despite our close relations with the US Washington still feels that its ok to screw us on lumber anytime a couple of lobbyists whine loudly enough. Let’s not talk about the social drift that’s going on between the two countries.
So how’s about it Canada? EU passports, access to European markets, the ability to work in any European country and a return, somewhat, to the old world doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

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