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Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the United Kingdom

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free trade, free movement and foreign policy

  • ''Global Britain'' Looks To The Emerging Anglosphere

    What lies beyond Brexit? This is not just a question for the United Kingdom and the European Union, but also one that will reverberate around the world, and one answer is “the Anglosphere”.

    Theresa May will look to the Anglosphere for post-Brexit ties  (photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters)

    Published by The Conversation

    Often spoken of as an alternative to the UK’s membership of the EU, the Anglosphere is the other side of the Brexit coin.

    But what is this novel ideology, which rose to prominence during the Brexit referendum? Where did it come from, and how will it affect Australia?

    The origins of the Anglosphere concept were first presented in the late 19th century. Imperial federation was proposed as an alternative to growing instability within the British Empire and growing competition from external rivals (not least the US).

    However, although having some influential friends such as one of Australia’s founding fathers, Alfred Deakin, the proposition lacked sufficient precision in terms of its form and purpose. The dream faded.

    Nevertheless, the concept of the “English-speaking peoples” was not totally dead. Brief periods of political support manifested but quickly passed, particularly in pivotal moments of change.

    During the second world war, and as the UK prepared to “abandon” its empire and join the European Economic Community, support for the English-speaking peoples as a political community was strengthened.

    More recently, the Anglosphere has been advanced by an influential international alliance of predominantly conservative politicians, commentators and public intellectuals. This loose grouping shares an insurgent ideological and geopolitical agenda that informs ambitions for an alternative world order, including Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and the EU’s eventual collapse.

    During the Brexit referendum, senior politicians in the “Leave” campaign – such as Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, Daniel Hannan, and David Davis – also made explicit reference to the potential of the Anglosphere.

    The Anglosphere provided a point of commonality between the different groups supporting Brexit. But such commonality can be deceptive. British national self-interest has often overlooked the diverse geopolitical and economic interests of the Anglosphere’s other constituent countries.

    The Anglosphere was one of the big winners of Brexit. Three of Theresa May’s ministers – Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis – are devotees of it, and are currently shaping Britain’s new place in the world.

    In January 2017, May argued that Brexit afforded new opportunities for a “truly Global Britain” to re-imagine existing and new international relationships.

    May said a “profoundly internationalist” post-EU Britain should draw on its distinctive national history and culture to become “the best friend and neighbour” to Europe, while also reaching out across the world “to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike”.

    But what does this mean for Australia and the world?

    Proponents of “Global Britain” have often sought to support their vision by drawing attention to the potential for a series of trade deals to be quickly concluded across the Anglosphere once the UK leaves the EU.

    May and US President Donald Trump have also sought to reframe the “special relationship” in the context of Brexit. They emphasised that stronger ties are founded “on the bonds of history, of family, kinship and common interests”.

    However, there is a lack of consistency in terms of which countries actually constitute the Anglosphere. Many of the most vocal proponents have sought to frame the Anglosphere around a “network of core constituent Crown countries” that comprise Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Others have sought to frame it in terms of a new Anglo-American alliance re-asserting its global influence.

    But outside of these so-called “core” Anglophone countries, it is not clear what place there is for, say, India, Ireland, Singapore or South Africa.

    For many supporters, greater engagement with the Anglosphere is congruent with a desire to rejuvenate the Commonwealth, particularly India. Such designs reveal historical and contemporary complexities both in geopolitical relations between the core Anglosphere countries and the pervasive resonance of racism and neo-colonialism across parts of the former British Empire.

    Trump’s America is seen both as pivotal and a potential threat to the free-trade foundations of a post-Brexit Anglosphere. Other critics have suggested that “Global Britain” is akin to “Empire 2.0”, founded on an overly positive vision of the colonial past and resting on a nostalgia-infused, post-imperial “amnesia”.

    You don’t have to look far to find people like Australia’s current and former foreign ministers, Julie Bishop and Gareth Evans, who think this is a bad idea. Yet the Anglosphere has supporters in high places – notionally former Australian leaders Tony Abbott and John Howard. Like these figures, the Anglosphere currently remains influential yet marginalised.

    But that’s what most people thought about Brexit a year ago. As British withdrawal from the EU shapes an emerging world order, its supporters think the Anglosphere is an idea whose time has come.

          
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  • Canadian Politician Backs CANZUK Free Trade Deal

    A senior Canadian member of parliament and candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Michael Chong MP, has publicly declared his support for establishing free trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK after Brexit.

    Michael Chong has urged CANZUK free trade once Brexit negotiations are concluded  (photo: Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press)

       Written by James Skinner

    Interviewing with A Strong Canada, Chong was asked how he would ensure Canadian interests are protected in negotiating free trade deals once the United Kingdom officially withdraws from the European Union in 2019.

    Chong responded: "I think its a good idea to explore a new trade deal with Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, particularly in light of the Brexit vote".

    His comments come after numerous MPs previously declared their support for CANZUK free trade and free movement, with Erin O'Toole adopting a CANZUK initiative as part of his campaign platform, with Andrew Scheer and Chris Alexander also advocating greater ties between the countries.


          
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  • Over 190,000 People Sign CANZUK Petition

    CANZUK International's online petition, advocating the free movement of citizens between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, has received over 190,000 signatures (and is continuing to rise).

    Over 190,000 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 190,000 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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  • Canada Should ''Help Shape Brexit'' With Trade Deal

    Canada should be actively pursuing free trade with the United Kingdom even as it pushes ahead with CETA, says former Canadian federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay.

    Peter Mackay has stated Canada should pursue free trade with the UK  (photo: The Canadian Press)

    Written by Julius Melnitzer - Financial Post

    “As a trusted friend, honest broker and ally to both the U.K. and the European Union, Canada can pursue free trade with the U.K. without undermining CETA,”  said MacKay, who is currently a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP in Toronto. “Canada is also positioned to help shape Brexit.”

    McKay’s comments followed on his address to the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce at the House of Lords on Friday, during which he provided his perspective on a shopping list of what Canadians would like to see from Brexit.

    Heading up MacKay’s wish list is the continuation of tariff-free, cross-border trade in goods between the U.K. and the EU.

    “This will preserve established supply chains of which Canadian business and investments form an integral part on both sides of the channel,”  MacKay said.

    Preserving the high level of cross-border trade in wholesale financial services between the U.K. and the EU is also a top priority. MacKay believes this will maintain financial stability in the near term while creating the conditions for Canadian financial firms to assist in broadening and deepening the EU’s own capital markets union.

    Continued mutual access to airspace, transportation links, energy markets, and telecommunication networks would benefit Canada as well. Canadian pension funds have invested heavily in the infrastructure required to support these sectors in the U.K. and in the EU. MacKay said Canadians would like to keep investing in such infrastructure, but need stability in the regulatory environment to do that.

    MacKay, who held federal cabinet posts in foreign affairs, justice and defence, believes that Canada should offer up assistance to the U.K. in its negotiations for access to the EU market. The EU Parliament passed the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in February. Canada’s Parliament is expected to approve the deal before the end of the year.

    “CETA gave us a lot of expertise in crafting access to a single market and the U.K. could do far worse than reach out to senior people in our departments of international trade for help in their negotiations with the EU,”  MacKay said. “They could certainly learn from our experience.”

          
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  • Which Friends Does Britain Want After Brexit?

    Which countries do Britons regard most favourably? Our neighbours and partners in the EU? Our ally and protector, the United States? Chatham House and YouGov has polled opinion on this, and results are consistent over time – and not close.

    Britain should favour trade & diplomacy with Canada, Australia & New Zealand after Brexit  (photo: CNN)

       Written by Andrew Lilico

    There are three countries Britons regard enormously more favourably than anyone else – Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

    Each of these gets around 45 per cent favourability ratings and approximately zero unfavourability. The next closest is the US, with over 30 per cent favourability and around 10 per cent unfavourability, comparable on net balance with the best European performer, the Netherlands, at around 25 per cent favourability and 1 per cent unfavourability.

    Interestingly, another English-speaking country, Ireland, gets only around 20 per cent favourability (and 10 per cent unfavourability) suggesting (if the US example weren’t enough) that the attitude to Australia, New Zealand and Canada is not purely one of common language, history and race.

    Neither, given India gets only around 5% favourability and 10 per cent unfavourability, can it be seen as a Commonwealth linkage.

    With Britain having joined the EEC (now EU) in 1973, it is remarkable that such overwhelmingly favourable attitudes to these three countries remains – two generations of intimate social, economic and political intercourse with our European friends and neighbours has not made Britons anything like as favourably inclined to anyone in Europe as they continue to be to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    At some level, the reason is obvious: Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders are “Britons abroad” – sundered brethren. Perhaps the Irish and the Americans have some of that as well, but the Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders never turned against Britain.

    Visiting these countries, Britons feel they know how people think – they comprehend them in a way quite different from that in France or Brazil or Pakistan. Obviously there is a racial mix similarity element, though the mix is not identical (relative to the UK there are, at least in many areas, more Chinese visible in Canada and Australia, whilst in New Zealand about 20 per cent of the population is Maori or Pacific Islander). These countries have the same (German) royal family that Britain does – and it is good for the position of the royals in those countries to remember that it is not an English royal family.

    When Britain leaves the EU, it will want new friends in the world. Collectively, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK (the “CANZUK” countries) would have a surface area larger than Russia, the fourth largest economic area in the world (around $6tr), around 60 per cent of the trade volume of the US, and a GDP/capita higher than that of the US. A CANZUK federation would be an economic and political alliance with those countries to which Britons are overwhelmingly more favourably inclined than anyone else – and have remained so for many decades after making more intimate economic and political deals with others. Our CANZUK partners would be much our closely constitutional matches.

    If we want new friends after leaving the EU, the first place to look should be our sundered brethren, with whom we would be collectively strong and naturally mesh.

          
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  • UK Urged To Join Trade Deals Post-Brexit

    The UK has been urged to join multi-lateral trade agreements being abandoned by US President, Donald Trump, with Australia's High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, stating Australia would have no objection to Britain joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

    The UK has been urged to join existing trade agreements such as NAFTA and TPP  (photo: USFUNDS.com)

       Written by James Skinner

    Leading figures on global trade addressing the 2017 Prosperity conference in Westminster, said the UK should focus on joining existing trade agreements when it leaves the EU, expected by March 31st, 2019.

    The conference coincided with reports from Washington that the US may withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) altogether, instead of revising the current deal between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    President Trump has already said the US will quit the Trade Pacific Partnership (TPP) of which Australia is a member.

    The UK's Minister for Brexit, David Davis, said at the conference that the UK's departure from the EU "should not be viewed through a protectionist lens," as John Weekes - Canada's former chief negotiator on NAFTA - said he would advise the UK's Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, to step into the United States' place so the UK wouldn't have to start new trade agreements from scratch.

    "It would make a lot of sense for the UK to join the NAFTA. There is an accession clause in NAFTA," he said. Respective of TPP, Weekes also claimed that "although its called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, why not think from a UK perspective of joining that? In many ways the TPP agreement is already a modernisation of the NAFTA because it involves the three NAFTA countries and it's kind of an update of the NAFTA".

    Without the United States, the TPP involves Australia, Canada and New Zealand, along with additional countries including Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam.

    Australia's High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, said Australia would welcome the UK into the TPP once its departure from the EU is finalised.

    "I think the TPP will go ahead myself. The TPP is 40 per cent of global GDP if you include the US, and even if you don't, its still a big part of the global GDP, could the UK join that? We wouldn't have any objection," he said.

    "Setting up new structures would be a laborious way to start. I think better to start with bilateral agreements and have a look if there are other plural-lateral agreements you might like to think of joining."

          
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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

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    Our work involves extensive research and report writing regarding priority issues for CANZUK free movement and foreign affairs.
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