These ideas, often voiced on this blog and on EUReferendum (too often for me to link) were expressed pithily in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph. Signed by a number of important writers and free-marketeers from different African countries (including my good friend Franklin Cudjoe of Imani in Ghana) it pleads with the people of Britain and, as a side-issue, with the Cleggeron Coalition whose Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, has been mouthing embarrassing platitudes while insisting that international aid must be ring-fenced in the supposed spending cuts.
As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace.Naturally, I have no issue with that paragraph or the rest of the letter. But, sadly, one needs to point out to the signatories that the Common Agricultural Policy is not Britain's to abolish. In fact, we have very little say in it though we do participate in that invidious set-up. Likewise, we have very little say in the various protectionist measures passed in the European Union. That policy is not ours either though we all too often applaud it, to our shame.