British Queen celebrates


The Prime Minister’s ‘’wooing’’ of Nordic and Baltic nations with a January summit came as no surprise (“Cameron woos Nordic nations, November 24).

London has traded with the Hanseatic and other near ports for thousands of years: at one time the German merchants running our wool trade (near Cannon Street station) even elected their own City Alderman and policed their own streets.

So, rather than worry about whether the UK is in spirit a Nordic, Baltic or even a Scandic country, we should remember that our shared traditions of passport-less open trade and entrepreneurship come from bordering the North Sea and its adjacent waterways.

A good case can be made for these waters acting as a catalyst for early European economic growth – a sort of medieval superhighway of goods and ideas.  Even today in Hamburg they say ‘When it rains in London, we put up our umbrellas here.’’

Michael Bear
Lord Mayor of the City of London
Mansion House EC4