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Read about our objectives for greater trade, diplomacy and prosperity between
Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the United Kingdom

LATEST NEWS

Find out what's new with our campaign and the latest developments in
free trade, free movement and foreign policy

  • Australian Government Publishes CANZUK Proposals

    The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has published CANZUK International’s latest report advocating freedom of movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    CANZUK International's proposals for free movement have been published by the Australian government  (photo: Expedia)

       Written by James Skinner

    The report, entitled “The Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement: Recommendations For The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, 2017 ”, details how Canada and the United Kingdom can coordinate accession to the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement which currently exists between Australia and New Zealand.

    Under CANZUK International’s proposals, the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom would grant reciprocal living and working rights to Australian and New Zealander citizens; a proposal which has been backed by over 189,000 people through our online petition.

    The report was submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of Australia’s public appeal for foreign policy recommendations in December 2016, and can be viewed via their website here.

    The Australian government will now review all submissions in the upcoming months to determine the future of Australia’s foreign policy. Supporters of free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are encouraged to contact their local Member of Parliament and pledge their support for CANZUK International’s proposals.

          
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  • CANZUK Petition Receives Over 188,000 Signatures

    CANZUK International's online petition, advocating the free movement of citizens between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, has received over 188,600 signatures (and is continuing to rise).

    Over 188,600 people have signed our online petition promoting CANZUK freedom of movement

    Our support is growing rapidly every day, and members of the public (as well as high-profile politicians and diplomats) are pledging their support for visa free/work permit free travel for citizens between the CANZUK nations.

    Our petition is also one of the most viewed petitions on Change.org this month, as thousands of people have signed and shared online, demonstrating huge support for our proposals across the world and promoting our cause as one of the fastest growing issues within international politics.

    The campaign is making tremendous progress, and we are determined to continue increasing our awareness so free movement will be adopted as official immigration policy of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    However, we can only achieve this with your continued support…


    How Can I Help?


    Sign and share our online petition – with over 188,600 signatures, our petition is being viewed daily by politicians, diplomats and government officials across the world. The more signatures we receive, the more we demonstrate global support for our initiative, providing a mandate for our respective governments to adopt free movement as official immigration policy.

    To sign our online petition, please click here.


    Donate - we rely solely on financial donations from the general public to ensure that free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom is recognised and discussed among MPs, senior government officials and diplomats.

    Please help us continue our campaign by donating today.


    Contact your local MP – change within our parliaments begins with parliamentary members drafting Bills and promoting causes which the public support. By writing to your local MP, you are asking them to represent your voice in parliament and advocate CANZUK free movement within their respective national governments.

    For details about contacting your local Member of Parliament, please click here.


    We sincerely appreciate all support and efforts made to promote freedom of movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and with your help, CANZUK International will continue to advocate, and achieve, free movement policies between these four countries.


          
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  • Brexit Brings Us Closer To A Commonwealth Vision

    Though we rightly revel in our Brexit victory, we must remember that leaving the European Union is a battle not a war. Brexit is a means and not an end.

    CANZUK & Commonwealth agreements could be the future for the UK   (photo: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images)

       Written by Ted Yarbrough

    Fundamentally, what Brexit does is hand back power to the British people that their representatives gave away. Brexit is not a vision of what Britain or the world should look like, it is giving the British people back the right to mold that vision.

    Last year, I wrote of what I hope to see the post-Brexit United Kingdom end up looking like. Today, however, we focus on forming a vision of the post-Brexit international order.

    Many people falsely view Brexit in terms of a nationalist versus globalist debate. In the thinking of many, Brexit represents the triumph of "populist" nationalism over the more "enlightened" internationalism seen in the EU.

    Opponents of Brexit will rightly point out that nationalism and close borders are historically a recipe for a powder keg. Both world wars were caused by nationalist interests- specifically Germany's desire to take over their weaker neighbours. However, the 20th century's world wars are not the only examples of nationalism and conflict between nations with close borders going to war with each other. One need look no further than the historical relationship between England and France or the current relationship between the Koreas or the People's Republic and Republic (Taiwan) of China today to see that closed borders and competing interests are dangerous.

    Thus, even though most of us (rightly) laughed off hysterical claims of a third world war when Cameron talked of it, there can be no doubt that contentious borders are never good - in modern terms the "conflict" is usually economic.

    Contrary to the beliefs of some nationalists, (often found in UKIP), Theresa May is right to want good relations with the EU and not openly wish for its demise - even if its demise is inevitable as many believe.

    With that being said, what the opponents of Brexit miss is that internationalist, or "supranational" institutions are, by themselves, no guarantors of peace either. As peaceful as Pax Romana may have been at certain points, the collapse of the Roman Empire brought upon the Dark Ages - ending the Classical advancements to humanity that began in the city states of Greece- for 1,000 years. The USSR and its empire held peace inside its borders for a time, but it was a brutal unlivable peace, to say nothing of the war they spread beyond their borders.

    Though the EU is no USSR or even Roman Empire, its large, undemocratic institutions have brought misery to many, especially those in the south of the continent, but unlike when there is poverty in nation states, the people have found themselves powerless to get the EU to respond to their pleas for help due to the EU's inherently undemocratic nature.

    Masses of unemployed working and fighting age men has traditionally not been considered a recipe for peace and harmony - and Britain rightly made the decision to move away from this supranational institution.

    Both nationalism and supranationalism are unattractive options for the United Kingdom. However, there is a third option that the United Kingdom should embrace wholeheartedly - the Churchillian option i.e. the Commonwealth option.

    At the conclusion of the second World War, Churchill became a proponent for the free world being organised into three "majestic circles"- the American dominated circle, the European (or "United States of Europe") circle and the circle of the British Commonwealth and Empire. He believed these three circles could ensure stability, expand the scope of the free world, and most importantly maintain the peace.

    After the war, two of the majestic circles, the American and European circles, bloomed and grew but the Commonwealth circle stagnated and largely went dormant as the empire disappeared. Britain did not go away, it did fulfill Churchill's wish to be a bridge between the US and Europe, but it largely abdicated its responsibilities to its Commonwealth friends and allies when it joined the EEC in 1973.

    The world has changed significantly since 1973 and with Brexit, Britain has an opportunity to shape the 21st century international relations and the free world, with the rebuilding of the Commonwealth majestic circle.

    Previously, I and others have written of the economic benefits of the Commonwealth and how it, along with including America in the Anglosphere, provides an economic security blanket and spring board to the UK economically becoming "global Britain". That is undoubtedly true, as the Commonwealth is now a larger economy than the EU and the US is the world's largest economy.

    However, a Commonwealth majestic circle would not simply be about economics.

    Currently, the American and European majestic circles are experiencing a lot of problems. The European Union is undemocratic and has been going through a series of crises and the United States's political system is being ravaged by toxic anger and division. Both the US and the EU appear to be losing their vision and are increasingly looking insular to deal with their problems. The world needs the third circle to counterbalance emerging forces from the "un-free" world in the forms of China, Russia, and Islamic fundamentalism.

    In the Commonwealth, there is the potential for a third and most modern of majestic circles. Unlike the US and the EU, which are large regional blocs, the Commonwealth circle contains all the world's continents (if you include South Georgia, this even includes Antarctica). However, unlike the US and EU, an active Commonwealth could provide an example for twenty-first century co-operation, based not on a central capital decreeing orders from on high, but from treaties and shared initiatives done when they are implemented by states because they are good ideas.

    Take for example the CANZUK nations (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom). Because the "CANZ" and UK have roughly the same population size, living standards, and shared heritage, they could all agree to free movement of labour.

    Commonwealth nations could sign a C9 trade deal for economic development  (photo: Getty)

    Other Commonwealth nations could agree to joint research projects, such as with India or Singapore, or others could agree to grand free trade deals such as the C9 deal I proposed between the UK, Canada, Singapore,  India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria. With shared institutions, such as having the figurehead of the Queen, the competition of the Commonwealth games, as well as the biennial meeting of leaders, the Commonwealth could become a shining light to the world on how to conduct and engage in international relations.

    The Commonwealth members would all move at their own speed of integration with each other, but will always commit to peace with one another and be in control of their own destines. The Commonwealth could also be a vehicle for encouraging its members to adopt greater protections for human rights and the Commonwealth nations would be allies with each other.

    The emergence of the majestic circle of the Commonwealth would provide a model for not only the free world, but help maintain and expand peace throughout the globe. The Commonwealth would also continue its policy of being open to new members- The Gambia is about to rejoin, and Rwanda and Mozambique joined despite never being British colonies.

    The mission of making the Commonwealth the globe's third majestic circle should be at the heart of a foreign policy for post-Brexit Britain. Britain of course should not abandon its friendship with the US and EU, and should seek to trade with them as freely as possible, but it should, as it always has, turn its gaze to the world. 

    There is a leadership vacuum in the world at the moment - Britain and its Commonwealth friends should work to fill it.

          
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  • Australia-UK Trade Deal To Rectify Visa Restrictions

    A former diplomat has demanded that Australia begins trade talks with the UK as soon as possible, as the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, toughens his stance on Britain exiting the EU.

    Australia is urged to form trade deals as the UK leaves the European Union  (photo: Getty Images)

    Written by Darren Hunt - The Express

    Georgina Downer, a fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, reiterated that Australia and the UK should begin informal talks about a trade deal now.

    Britain cannot agree trade deals until the UK has fully cut ties with Brussels, however Ms Downer said informal talks should begin now to save time.

    She said: “Well that is a difficult issue there. What he is talking about is whether Britain and the EU negotiate in tandem, an FTA (Future trade agreement) and a divorce settlement a large sum of money to exit out of its EU agreements. 

    "For Australia, we cannot really formally negotiate an FTA until probably 2019 in two years time.

    “Of course we should be having informal negotiations. I expect they are ongoing at the moment.

    There is no point waiting until 2019 and then negotiating an FTA because if we want to do a quick deal, which I think is very much in our interest and very much in Britain’s interest then we should have some preliminary negotiations now.

    EU diplomats have called on Mr Tusk, the President of the European Council, to strengthen his stance on the divorce bill Britain must pay when leaving the EU.

    Mr Tusk’s Brexit negotiation plans have been backed by EU members, however many were keen to see a firmer stance.

    Members are thought to have rejected the idea that a trade deal can be discussed simultaneously alongside the Brexit divorce bill, which is thought to be in the region on £50 billion.

    Negotiating guidelines are likely to be approved by the 27 members without the UK when they meet for a summit in Brussels on April 29, with talks unlikely to begin until late May.

    Ms Downer claimed that Britain voting to Leave the EU and wanting to agree trade agreements was the beginning of a “new relationship” between the UK and Australia.

    She added: “I think it is absolutely a new chapter for Britain and for Australia’s relations with Britain.

    I would expect that we will see good market access opening up for agricultural exports especially.

    “Once the UK will be out it will determine the terms on which it receives our exports and we would expect very positive treatment in terms of low if not no tariff barriers there.

    In the last 10 years we have seen a decline in Australian’s who have been able to live and work in Britain as the UK has tightened the restrictions for non-EU migrants, we would hope that an FTA would try and rectify that.

          
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  • CANZUK International Undertakes Québec Research

    CANZUK International is conducting regional research into the opinions of free trade, free movement and foreign policy coordination between the CANZUK nations, for citizens residing within Québec, Canada.

    Montreal is the most populated city in the Province of Québec in Canada  (photo: MSN)

       Written by James Skinner

    Québec is home to over 8.3 million citizens, with 78% speaking French as a first language. Over 40% speak English and French bilingually.

    CANZUK International invites all Canadian citizens, who permanently reside in the Province of Québec, to undertake our 2 minute survey. This survey will collect information regarding Québécois sentiment towards Canada adopting free trade and free movement policies with Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    As Québec is a majority Francophone Province, we are researching the opinions of Québec residents regarding Canada's place in a future CANZUK initiative. The study will focus on Québécois preferences towards free movement and whether closer diplomatic ties with Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom would be advantageous for Québec's economy and culture.

    The survey can be completed here, or via the interactive survey sheet below. All responses will be confidential and validated for accuracy.

          
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  • How To Choose Our New Geopolitical Partners

    CANZUK International Adviser, Andrew Lilico, explains why identity and common global interests are more important to a geopolitical partnership such as CANZUK than internal trade.

    There are many reasons, aside from trade, why a CANZUK partnership would succeed  (photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

       Written by Andrew Lilico - Reaction.Life

    In Douglas Dowell’s piece, Sentiments and statistics: why CANZUK won’t fly, he sets out the proportions of exports to CANZUK members relative to the total exports of each CANZUK member, showing that in all cases except New Zealand’s, CANZUK states are not amongst the top few export destinations for CANZUK exporters. He also considers the defence priorities of CANZUK states and shows that they are not currently aligned.

    Since Douglas’ piece has garnered a bit of interest, it’s perhaps worth explaining where his argument goes wrong. A first, minor point is that he says re the UK “even if you doubled our trade with Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it’s never going to be anywhere near enough to make up for the hit to our European trade”; and re Canada “In Canada’s case, it’s quite obvious that nothing and no-one could match the scale of US trade”. But he’s mistaken in thinking the CANZUK partnership is intended to lead to the wholesale replacement of other trade with CANZUK trade.

    A second point is that the fact one already trades with an economy is not a good argument that the main scope for extra trade is in that same place. In the case of the UK, for example, exports to the Single Market were around 55 per cent of total exports in the mid-2000s, are now down to a little over 40 per cent, and by 2030 will have fallen to around 33 per cent. Exports are growing faster to the rest of the world than to the market where they are already largest.

    There is considerable scope for trade within CANZUK to grow. In the early 1970s, before the UK entered the EU, around 9.5 per cent of its exports were to the other CANZUK states and around 21 per cent was to the EEC6. The CANZ states grew 38 per cent more than the EEC6 did between 1970 and 2015, so one might have expected trade with CANZ to rise proportionately. Yet whilst the proportion of exports to the EEC6 grew to 28 per cent, to CANZ it fell to 3 per cent. One could certainly imagine intra-CANZUK trade quadrupling or more.

    An additional minor trade-related point is that, just as the EEC added members over time, after an initial few decades with a core few to get itself established, CANZUK might do the same.

    But let us move on to the more substantive errors in Douglas’ analysis. The most fundamental of these is the idea that countries choose their closest allies on the basis of whom they trade with most. For example, we can repeat Douglas’ exercise, but this time for China.


    We can see here that the US and the EU are, by a long way, China’s most significant export partners. Does that mean that the US and EU are China’s closest allies? No. Because countries do not pick their closest partners on this basis.

    Within the EU, the UK faced being dominated by the Eurozone. Canada faces domination by the US. Should China expand its influence in the Pacific region, Australia and New Zealand would face challenges there. The argument that a country must choose its geopolitical partners on the basis of whom it currently trades most with, even if that leads to domination, was one of the core arguments offered by the Remain campaign during the EU referendum – and it was rejected.

    A further flaw in Douglas’ analysis is illustrated by his own graphs. His core argument is that a CANZUK partnership would be small beer and that all the CANZUK states should prioritise others. Intuition alone should have told him there was something wrong with that thought, given that the CANZUK states would be the world’s fourth largest economic zone. One quite obvious thing wrong with it is that the CANZUK states all trade significant volumes internationally. In 2015 their total trade was worth US$2.4 trillion. And as Douglas’ charts show, for all of them the US, EU and China are significant trade partners. They thus have a shared interest in the trade rules that will apply to all of them when they export to the US, EU and China. More generally, CANZUK will allow its members to collaborate in global fora.

    Douglas’ thinking is dominated by an EU-type mindset, in which there is an implicit objective of internal self-sufficiency and internal prioritization – that the key question is how much we trade with each other, not how we all trade with the rest of the world.

    Douglas adds some discussion of the defence priorities of CANZUK members. He shows that their current priorities are not aligned. Indeed they are not. That is why a new defence CANZUK agreement would be a change, not simply a continuation of the status quo. I think Douglas’ point is that he cannot see why CANZUK states would want to change their priorities. But that simply means he cannot see the merits of CANZUK states regarding each other as part of “us”, so that they would be interested in promoting each others’ interests as well as (perhaps even as much as) their own.

    One reason for that might be the aspect of the core three CANZUK foundation blocks that Douglas did not touch upon: a migration agreement. The sense in which CANZUK citizens regard each others’ countries as much more alike than elsewhere in the world, and thus much more suitable as a place to settle, might naturally be mirrored in international cooperation over trade and defence. CANZUK citizens regard each others’ countries as (something close to) “us”. That is the most fundamental reason why a defence partnership makes sense.

    Let’s back that up with some data. First, actual migration. UK citizens do move to the EU and US to live and work. There are around 1.2 million UK citizens living in the EU, and around 760,000 living in the US. But that is dwarfed by UK citizens moving to other CANZUK states. There are 1.3 million UK ex-pats in Australia, 670,000 in Canada and 310,000 in New Zealand. That is 2.3 million UK ex-pats elsewhere in CANZUK (about 45 per cent of all UK ex-pats), nearly twice as many as in the EU27 and three times as many as in the US — even though the population of the US is more than five times that of CANZ. Of 600,000 New Zealanders living abroad, around 90 per cent live elsewhere in CANZUK. For Australia, the figure is about 22 per cent, with the UK as the single largest destination. The key exception here is Canada, where of 2.8 million ex-pats, 1.1 million are in the US, with the UK only third.

    UK voters regard folk from Canada, Australia and New Zealand qualitatively differently from those from other countries. A 2011 survey by the research firm YouGov found that Australia, New Zealand and Canada are regarded as “especially favourable” by 48, 47 and 44 per cent of Britons. The next most-favoured country, the U.S., was way behind at 31 per cent, and the most-favoured EU member, the Netherlands, had only half the favourability of those three countries, at 24 per cent. An as we can see in YouGov’s 2015 survey, UK citizens favour free movement within CANZUK to a much greater extent than in the cases of the US or EU.


    Thus, alongside (and deeply connected to) the similarities in culture, political systems, law and regulation, the most fundamental aspect of CANZUK is the sense of “us”. Douglas may think that there is no value in “us” – that all that counts are regional economic priorities and that it does not matter if the common CANZUK way of doing things is dominated or replaced by European, US or Chinese ways.

    But a central lesson of the UK’s experience in the EU – a lesson we can take and apply in Canada and Australia as well – is that for geopolitical partnerships to last, a common sense of “us” is vital. CANZUK has that. That is most basic reason why it will work.


          
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  • OUR TEAM

    Meet the people across the world who are part of CANZUK International
    To view our full staff list, click here

    • James Skinner

      Chief Executive

      James was the founder of the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation and has worked extensively in the governments of Australia & the UK

    • John Bender

      Chairman

      John serves as chairman of Matthew Bender & Co. Holdings Ltd, an investment office associated with one of the founding families of a FTSE 100 publishing concern

    • Sir Michael Craig-Cooper

      Member of the Advisory Board

      Sir Michael served as Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London and has a distinguished career serving as a board member of the National Bank of Kuwait

    OUR CAMPAIGN

    Through our dedication to achieving stronger ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, we have achieved significant recognition from the media, general public and senior government officials

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    RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS


    Our work involves extensive research and report writing regarding priority issues for CANZUK free movement and foreign affairs.
    To view our research and publications, click here

    HELP US

    There are numerous ways you can help us develop free trade, free movement and foreign affairs between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

    CONTACT US

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    For information about our campaign, policy proposals and events, please contact us using the webform below

    Please note that due to the high volume of correspondence we receive, we aim to respond to all enquiries within 72 hours