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Brexit has thrust Commonwealth summit out of the shadows and into the spotlight


As the leaders of the 53 Commonwealth countries prepare to gather this week in London for their biennial summit, there’s a growing sense of revival within the organization.

Once seen by many as a relic of the colonial era, the Commonwealth has suddenly become relevant, thanks largely to Brexit and the increasing isolationism in the United States. And, with 2.4 billion people and nearly US$10-trillion in total economic output, the organization is hard to ignore.

Trade will be a major topic of discussion during the two-day leaders’ meeting, which starts on Thursday with much of the focus on Britain’s departure from the European Union in March, 2019. But it won’t be the only topic. There will also be a discussion about a new charter on ocean governance to promote environmental protection and sustainable development of maritime industries, as well as a declaration on cybercrime and new guidelines for election observation.

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