Plans for closer ties between the EU and Commonwealth

Proposals will be unveiled today in Brussels to establish closer, formal ties between the EU and Commonwealth after Brexit.

Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin has drafted a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ that would create links between the EU and its institutions to the Commonwealth. The draft will be submitted to both the EU and Commonwealth for consideration in an open letter later this week. 

The measures would include:

  • The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs to be invited to the bi-annual Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
  • The Commonwealth Secretary-General to be invited to attend meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU.
  • Joint action plans and regular meetings on areas of shared interest such as international development, disaster relief missions and counter-terrorism.

Chair of the Commonwealth Forum, Miss McClarkin, will say: “Closer, formal ties between the EU and the Commonwealth are long overdue.

"They share common values and have the same mission to promote peace, human rights, and democracy across the globe, yet no formal link between the two exists.

"There are clear benefits from binding together the largest family of nations in the world with the largest bloc. Regular dialogue and coordination of their efforts to protect the environment, support development and counter-terrorism will only make them more effective.

“The United Kingdom has until now been the link, along with Cyprus and Malta, between the Commonwealth and EU. However, that link will be significantly reduced once the UK leaves the EU. It’s is timely and appropriate that formal relations are established to ensure that these two important bodies strengthen their ties for the future."