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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Should the UK leave the Commonwealth?

Should the UK leave the Commonwealth?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

The Commonwealth of Nations is home to 2.6 billion people and comprises 54 member states, most (but not all) with links to the former British Empire. The Queen has been head of the Commonwealth for more than seven decades, and Prince Charles has been agreed, in principle at least, as her successor. 

But as the UK considers the next chapter of the monarchy, would the Commonwealth be better off without the UK in it? Only 9% of UK trade is with the Commonwealth – despite all the talk of it being a major trading opportunity post-Brexit. With our greater understanding of the long-term impact of colonialism, is our continued involvement in the Commonwealth just an attempt to paper over the cracks caused by Britain’s imperial past, or do we still have a responsibility to be involved?

editor and invited experts

Jeevan Vasagar
Climate Editor

Dr Sue Onslow
Director & Reader in Commonwealth History, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Kojo Koram
Lecturer at the School of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London

Lord Howell
Former President of the Royal Commonwealth Society; Chairman of the Council of Commonwealth Societies