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US could become 'associate member' of the Commonwealth

  • Published at 08:36 pm February 23rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:37 pm February 23rd, 2017
US could become 'associate member' of the Commonwealth

The United States could eventually become an “associate member” of the Commonwealth, according to plans being drawn up by the Royal Commonwealth Society, reports the Telegraph. The move, which is said to have the backing of the Queen, is believed to have come about because of US President Donald Trump’s love of Britain and the Royal Family.

With the UK making plans to leave the European Union, official are keen to build up international relations through the Commonwealth in a number of areas, including trade.

Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society Michael Lake told The Telegraph: "The UK rather left this treasure in the attic, and forgot about it because people were so glued to Brussels.” Lake said the plans had been hastened by the "opportunity of a new president, and the slightly dangerous but great fun opportunity that the 'Bad Boys of Brexit' offered.”

In December, Lake wrote a letter to Trump, which was hand carried by Andrew Wigmore, a close aide to Nigel Farage, and then delivered by the former UKIP leader. Wigmore joined Farage and Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman in visiting Trump after the US election, and continues to have close ties with the administration.

Farage, who has emerged as a key ally of Trump, promoted the idea with senior aides, reportedly presenting the letter to Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist. He believes the Commonwealth alliance fits well with Trump's foreign policy outlook.

A new branch of the Commonwealth Society has already opened in Helsinki, acting as a Baltic-Scandinavian hub, to help facilitate business ties with Commonwealth countries. Last year the Commonwealth Society opened a chapter in Dublin, as part of a campaign to help persuade the Republic to rejoin the alliance of 52 member states.

Sources indicate that Trump believes that the model of the Commonwealth fits well with is foreign policy outlook. Trump is understood to think that the former Commonwealth country India is a “true friend and partner”, according to a phone call he had with the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump, whose mother is Scottish and a royalist, has also expressed his enthusiasm for building his connections with the Royal family.