FT Associate Editor Edward Hadas posted a short note the other day that sent his Portuguese readers into spasms of rage.
He suggested that Portugal leave the European Union and allow itself to be annexed by its former colony, Brazil.
Once they got over the sting of being a province, instead of a sovereign state, the Portuguese would soon find themselves in a much stronger position. Hadas wrote:
Here is an out-of-the-box way to deal with the situation: annexation by Portuguese-speaking Brazil (a decade of 4 per cent annual GDP growth, much higher recently). Portugal would be a big province, but far from dominant: 5 per cent of the population and 10 per cent of GDP.
Sure, the old colonist would resent the loss of status. But the former colony has something to offer, even beyond narrower credit spreads and proportionally much lower government and current account deficits. Brazil is one of the BRICs, the emerging centre of world power. That sounds like a better home than the tired old EU.
Mr. Hadas’ suggestion was, of course, a bit tongue-in-cheek. But it’s a smart idea. Portugal should think it through. Is 30 years of servitude to the EU really such an appealing prospect? There has to be more to life than paying back German bankers.
And think of what it might mean to Portuguese “football” fans. Combine the Brazilian national team with the Portuguese national team and you have the best team in the world.
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