Tue | Jun 22, 2021

Me first

Published:Thursday | July 25, 2019 | 12:16 AM


Yesterday, Boris Johnson became the new prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK). He is known to be bombastic and was selected by his Conservative party to get a better deal from the European Union (EU), or leave without a deal.

Conventional wisdom says that it would be disastrous for the UK if they leave the EU without a deal. I believe, like Mr Johnson, that no deal is better than a bad deal. The deal the EU currently offers effectively leaves the UK in the EU without any voting rights. This discourages any other member from leaving. If the UK leaves without a deal, it will affect the UK negatively, but it will hurt the EU much more.

The lesson Caribbean countries should learn is that the new paramount principle in international relation is ‘me first’. When we complain about unfairly being blacklisted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the EU, we should know it will fall on deaf ears. We should find loopholes to strike back, such has crafty trade barriers and conditional support in the international arena.

Me first is now the order of the day in international affairs. The Caribbean and Jamaica have not adequately adapted. They have on many occasions sacrificed their interest for a strategic partnership with a big brother (a powerful country). I am a mathematician and the pattern is me first: whether it’s China in the South China Sea, US with the Iran nuclear deal, Russia with Georgia, or the EU with Brexit.

Brian Ellis Plummer