Am I the only one who thinks that this would have been, you know, a really, really good idea?
On September 10 1956, Guy Mollet, the then French prime minister, came to London to discuss the possibility of a merger between the two countries with his British counterpart, Sir Anthony Eden, according to declassified papers from the National Archives, uncovered by the BBC.
…When Mr Mollet’s request for a union failed, he quickly responded with another plan — that France be allowed to join the British commonwealth — which was said to have been met more warmly by Sir Anthony.
Now, the latter idea would have amounted to nothing – England would have approximately the same impact on French politics as it currently does on Canadian politics (that is to say, none). But the former is very, very intriguing. Imagine how much stronger the EU would have been if two of its major population centers were politically unified. Imagine how much this would have hurt the push to invade Iraq in 2003, and how much it would have strengthened NATO by preventing de Gaulle’s pullout. There are so many implications of this, and they are almost universally positive. Maybe I’m just a junkie for regional integration, but this seems like a major missed opportunity.