The Commonwealth Has Never Been Fit For Purpose, Why will It Be Different In The Age Of Brexit?

Adebayo Adeniran
5 min readApr 22, 2021

A huge part of the selling point of Brexit was the fall back of trade deals with the commonwealth, but was it a wise one, given the complex history of the Britain in relation to its former colonies?

The commonwealth via Wikimedia commons

The commonwealth of nations, known in common parlance, as the commonwealth, is a political union of fifty four countries — mostly former nation states colonized by Britain during the time of the empire. These fifty four countries include the likes of Singapore, Malaysia, India, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Jamaica, Barbados, New Zealand and Australia.

Since the 1990s, we have had the likes of Rwanda and Mozambique apply to be part of this body, the former, in protest at Belgium and France’s complicity in the 1994 genocide.

The United states of America, by virtue of its history of being colonized by Great Britain should be a member of this organization, but on the grounds of its exceptionalism and its supreme global power, America, being number two to Britain, with her majesty, as the head, might seem a tad absurd, back then in the 1930s, during its formation and certainly now.

But there’s a slight contradiction here; American Citizens have always taken advantage of the Rhodes scholarship set up by the murderous and exploitative Brit — Cecil Rhodes — who made his fortunes off the sweat of Black Africans in the South African mines.

The Background

Owing to its historic ties to Britain, you would be forgiven for thinking that every member state, regardless of its racial make up, within this organization, would enjoy equal treatment, as it relates to trade deals and the ease of movement to the United Kingdom?

No. This, unfortunately, has never been the case.

Britain, as the world’s greatest purveyor of racism and imperialism, in its head, was still in control of these outposts in Asia and Africa and regarded them as inferior in every sense of the term. This thinking was the order of the day among the leading lights of Britain’s political class, in the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties.

Adebayo Adeniran

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible