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Britain’s Future: Business, Industry and a New Relationship with the EU


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The author

The author


Britain‘s Future:

Business, Industry and a New Relationship with the European Union

by Stephen Bush

Published by Prosyma Research Ltd (1998) ISBN 0 9517475 2 5

“But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not combined. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed[1].”


As a prologue to this essay may I ask the reader to imagine for a moment (and I apologise to those who may have been asked to do this before), a world in which the United States speaks French, the majority language in Canada is French, the people of Australia and New Zealand speak French, the government and business of the 850 million people of the world’s largest democracy (India) are largely conducted in French, 100 million people in China are learning French, most international business including that in the fastest growing region of the world (the Pacific Rim) is conducted in French, the language of international travel is French, 80% of all Internet communications are in French and more books are sold in French than the rest of the Western languages put together. Let us further imagine that at the conclusion of the Second World War, 52 years ago, two French generals received the two largest German capitulations in the field, while at the other end of the world, the fall of Rangoon to French forces completed the destruction of the Japanese Army at the end of the heaviest continuous land campaign in its history. Between 1945 and today imagine that France had peacefully transformed history’s largest empire into a Commonwealth of 53 nations among whom 16 share a common head of state with herself; that in Malaya French armed forces were victorious in the only prolonged (nine years!) war against communist terrorist forces actually won by the West; and that in the Falklands, French forces were victorious in the only war since 1945 against a power equipped with the full range of modern weapons. Again let us imagine that France’s external investments are second only to those of the United States, that three of the world’s twelve largest industrial corporations by capital value are French, and France with one percent of the world’s population has in the thirty years of Japan’s rise to world economic power, been responsible by Japan’s own reckoning for about a quarter of the most important innovations in the period, at the same time winning about a quarter of the Nobel prizes for science.

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