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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

  • Brexit Plans Include Special Passport Arrangements

    UK Government sources have confirmed that special passport arrangements between Commonwealth countries, with the Queen as Head of State, have been discussed "at the highest level", including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    Sources indicate special passport arrangements will be made for nations where the Queen is Head of State  (photo: CNN)

       Written by James Skinner

    The Commonwealth of Nations is home to 52 countries, of which, 16 share Queen Elizabeth II as Sovereign.

    Now, sources within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have confirmed that new passport arrangements for countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand are "back on the table" post-Brexit, including fast-tracked visas, easier entry to the UK and free movement.

    Speaking with the Daily Express, one Commonwealth source stated:

    "The will is certainly there on behalf of countries like Australia and New Zealand. The subject has been raised at Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings and there’s now a sense that Brexit could turn the theoretical into reality. It certainly makes sense to have special arrangements when you consider how much more trade Britain is going to be doing with these countries in the future".

    Furthermore, visitors from the 16 countries would benefit from swifter border checks, and have the option for a special emblem on their passports.

    Since the UK voted to leave the European Union, CANZUK International has reached out to Commonwealth officials, members of parliament and senior diplomats in the UK advocating greater economic and diplomatic ties with Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As such, the news of special passport arrangements for citizens of these countries is certainly welcome, and evidence that our campaign is making significant progress towards CANZUK freedom of movement.

    As such, we will continue to liaise with senior officials in promoting our CANZUK agenda, and ensure free movement and free trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK is discussed with the highest priority upon the UK's exit of the European Union.


          
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  • Pro-CANZUK Leader Meets With CANZUK International

    Chief Executive of CANZUK International, James Skinner, met with pro-CANZUK member of parliament, Erin O'Toole, on Friday in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss free movement, free trade and foreign policy between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    Chief Executive, James Skinner, and pro-CANZUK MP, Erin O'Toole, met in Vancouver to discuss the CANZUK campaign

    Erin O'Toole is running for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and recently made the CANZUK initiative a key part of his campaign platform, vowing to "actively pursue a Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand trade and security pact, including freedom to live, work, and invest in these countries".

    Speaking with CANZUK International, Erin described CANZUK free movement and free trade as a "no brainer", explaining the multiple benefits of adopting a CANZUK inititive:

    "We [would] have 125 million people, in the northern and southern hemispheres, from Asia-Pacific to North America, working together for global security and for better prosperity for our citizens".

    The full campaign video can be viewed here:


    CANZUK International will continue to work with Erin O'Toole as part of his CANZUK campaign, ensuring that free movement, free trade and foreign policy between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom become priority issues within the parliament of Canada.


          
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  • MPs Call For Commonwealth ''Fast-Tracked'' Visas

    Commonwealth citizens should have UK visas fast-tracked to send out an “important message” after Brexit, 45 Conservative MPs told the Home Secretary.

    45 MPs in the UK have urged fast-track visa applications for Commonwealth arrivals  (photo: Parliament Street)

    Written by Christopher Hope - The Telegraph

    In a letter to Amber Rudd, the MPs urge the Government to “extend the hand of friendship to our Commonwealth partners” and make the UK more welcoming for Commonwealth citizens.

    The MPs suggest that visa rules be fast-tracked for visitors from the 52 Commonwealth countries, while signs at the border should be changed to specifically welcome Commonwealth visitors. The recommendations are due to be debated in Parliament in a fortnight’s time on Feb 26.

    The MPs, including Sir Henry Bellingham, a former foreign office minister, and Tim Loughton, a former education minister, want the changes to be considered ahead of next month’s Commonwealth trade ministers meeting in London.

    They say: “The focus of this meeting is renewed trade and friendship between the UK and the Commonwealth.

    “Home Secretary, you are in a position to effect real, positive change in our relations with our Commonwealth partners. It would be a shame to let this opportunity pass us by.

    The letter has been organised by Jake Berry MP, the Conservative MP who is helping the Telegraph campaign for a new royal yacht Britannia.

    Other signatories include Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs, Sir Paul Beresford, Alec Shelbrooke, Peter Bone and Charlie Elphicke.

    Lord Marland, the former energy minister and current chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, who is organising the first ever meeting of 25 Commonwealth trade ministers in London on March 9-10, welcomed the letter.

    He told The Telegraph: “Visas are a constant source of antagonism for Commonwealth countries. If the Government is going to turbo-charge its relationship with the Commonwealth when it becomes chair of the Commonwealth next year, it will have to take into consideration visas, as well as making it easier for students to come and study in this country as part of the rebuilding of relationships with the Commonwealth post-Brexit.”

    In the letter, which is published on the Telegraph’s website today, the MPs say: “In the previous century, Commonwealth countries stood with Britain as we faced existential threats from abroad but as we pivoted to Europe, increasingly, our Commonwealth allies were left in the cold.

    “The lack of consideration for Commonwealth citizens is at its starkest at our border. In 2015, the last year for which figures are readily available, from Australia, Canada and India alone, Britain welcomed 2.2 million visitors who spent over £2 billion.

    “These three Commonwealth states are consistently found among the top five non-EEA nationalities arriving in the UK and travel for both business and pleasure.

    “However, while EU citizens are collecting their luggage or exchanging greetings with loved ones, our Commonwealth friends wait tirelessly in the ‘all other passports’ queue.

    They point out that the Commonwealth, which includes five G20 countries, “offers a ready-made, English language trading network for Britain.

    We must be clear about the importance we place on our relationship with the Commonwealth and start the process of strengthening ties for crucial future trade negotiations.”

    They add: “A key starting point in the renewal of our ties with our Commonwealth partners should be a reconfiguring of our border control system.

    The MPs say: “Signs at border control that class every non-EU national as ‘All other passports’ should be changed to ‘The Commonwealth and all other passports’.”

    They add that “the Government must commit to examine ways to reduce wait times for Commonwealth citizens entering the UK, perhaps through the use of dedicated Commonwealth border control gates.

    “Entry processing may not be as quick as in the EU channel as several of the 52 Commonwealth nations require a visa for travel to the UK. However, this would send out an important message about the value Britain places on its relationship with the Commonwealth.

          
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  • The Plan For A CANZUK Trade Alliance Is Catching On

    Erin O’Toole, one of the candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, has made one of the key planks of his campaign his determination to “pursue a Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand trade and security pact.” The idea of creating a “CANZUK” zone of free trade and free movement of labour is catching on elsewhere, too.

    Australia would be a part of a CANZUK free trade and free movement union  (photo: Shutterstock)

       Written by Andrew Lilico

    In New Zealand, the junior coalition partner in the government, the Act New Zealand party led by David Seymour (who himself worked for five years in Canadian politics), is explicitly in favour of free movement and free trade within CANZUK.

    In official party circles within the U.K. and Australia, the wheels are grinding a little slower, but the former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is already into most of the idea, proposing a free-trade agreement and free-movement area encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. And in Britain, Theresa May’s Conservative government has made it clear it wants new trade agreements with Canada, Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible after it leaves the EU.

    The idea of CANZUK begins with a free-trade agreement, free-movement area (the freedom to live and work in each others’ countries) and defence-partnership agreement. O’Toole favours all three of these main planks, and he’s right that it all makes perfect sense.

    The CANZUK countries, working closely together, would make a formidable contribution to world affairs. They would have the largest total landmass of any free-trade zone. They would collectively constitute the fourth-largest market in the world, after the U.S., EU and China.

    Their combined military spending would be the world’s third largest, well ahead of Russia, and on European Geostrategy’s geopolitical power index, the CANZUK countries collectively have a strength around 70 per cent of that of the U.S. — and nearly twice that of China or France. With a combined global trade footprint nearly twice as big as Japan’s, the CANZUK countries would have substantial influence in opening up global markets and guiding global regulation across a range of issues from banking to shipping to the environment.

    What makes CANZUK a natural union is perhaps self-evident. Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand share a similar culture, similar values, and analogous legal, business and social systems that allow us to get along easily and interchangeably. (The term CANZUK was originally a term diplomats used to refer to these four countries because of how frequently they would vote the same way at the UN.)

    Free trade and free movement would be the first steps towards a CANZUK union  (photo: Getty Images)

    Most of the main issues our political parties focus upon are instantly comprehensible to anyone from another CANZUK state. Our laws and constitutions share many features, making trade deals and mutual regulatory recognition a relatively straightforward matter. Our citizens enjoy a roughly similar per capita GDP (which is just not true of the other Commonwealth nations with similar constitutions) and face few hurdles in integrating into another CANZUK country’s labour market. Our societies are peaceful and orderly.

    And in our modern globalized world, we see that we are much more similar to each other than we are to others. The challenges of dealing with Japanese or Chinese business partners can be overcome, but they cannot be denied. Continental Europeans have different foibles, different goals and different priorities from ours, as well as importantly different legal and constitutional challenges. The arrival of President Trump reminds us of just how different from us many parts of the U.S. really are, and always have been.

    Furthermore, while the U.S., the EU and China can all make valuable trading partners in their different regions, each CANZUK state that encounters them is regionally overmatched and, standing alone, will inevitably be dominated. Working together though, exploiting our natural affinities and the world of mass communication, high-value services and rapid transit, CANZUK can allow us stand our ground and project our own values and agendas.

    The post-Cold-War alliances and assumptions are obsolete. NAFTA is dead. The EU will soon lose one of its largest members. Trump might downgrade NATO, abandon the WTO and even diminish the UN. It’s tempting, in a world of change, to try to cling to as much of the old certainties as possible. But if we look up and out, something new beckons. Free trade, free movement and a new security partnership between countries of shared culture and natural affinity. CANZUK is the global deal of tomorrow.

    Dr. Andrew Lilico, born in New Zealand but based in London, is executive director and principal of Europe Economics, a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and chairman of the IEA Monetary Policy Committee.

          
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  • Australia & UK On Course For Immigration & Trade Deal

    Sources close to the Australian and British governments have confirmed that post-Brexit immigration and trade talks between the two nations are on course, with mutually agreed outlooks for when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

    The UK will soon formally negotiate post-Brexit trade deals with Australia  (photo: Odd Andersen/AFP)

       Written by James Skinner

    Before the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, the Australian government's preference was for a "Remain" vote, allowing the UK to stay within the European Common Market.

    However, when the historic "Leave" vote was confirmed, Australia was the first country to set up a Trade Working Group to discuss, negotiate and confirm a future trade deal. They even offered to lend trade experts to the UK as a way of assisting preparations for Brexit.

    As such, it is no coincidence that the Liberal-National coalition government in Canberra, and the Conservative government in London, see eye-to-eye on the best avenue for trade and immigration deals once the UK leaves the European Union. Alexander Downer, Australian High Commissioner to the UK, has already confirmed that Australia is keen to begin formal negotiations as soon as possible, and in benefit to CANZUK International's campaign, has also advocated greater visa access and freer movement with any pending trade deal between the two countries.

    Events since June have also reinforced the desire for the two Commonwealth nations to reach a deal. The Trump administration’s scrapping of the prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership was a blow for Australian commerce, and the danger of a rising tide of global protectionism make a compelling case for a UK-Australian free-trade agreement.

    British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is expected to invoke Article 50 in March 2017, officially announcing intentions for the UK to withdraw from membership of the European Union. When that date comes, it will be a hectic two years for the UK for negotiate as many trade deals as possible to ensure it remains as a leading global economic player within the international community.

    However, as the Australian and British governments repeatedly demonstrate unity moving forward with post-Brexit negotiations, it is clear that a trade agreement will soon be drafted between these two nations, and greater visa access for each others' citizens will soon follow.


          
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  • CANZUK International Speaks With TV Ontario

    This week, Chief Executive of CANZUK International, James Skinner, spoke with TV Ontario about the developments of free movement, free trade and foreign policy between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and the relationship between these nations and the Commonwealth...

    Steve Paikin of TVO's "The Agenda" spoke with CANZUK International

    Speaking with Steve Paikin for "The Agenda", Skinner explained what CANZUK International advocates for and the benefits of the CANZUK nations in cooperating for mutual policy initiatives:

    "What we're advocating is for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to form closer economic, social and diplomatic ties. Our primary goal is free movement for citizens between these four countries, based on the current free movement protocols that currently exist between Australia and New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement. What we would then do is expand free trade, as combined free trade from these four countries would be estimated 3.5 trillion, and we would also work towards security developments through the Five-Eyes Intelligence Alliance that currently exists between these four countries and the United States of America, and also with the development of foreign policy as well."

    When asked about the barriers in place to achieving CANZUK International's objectives, Skinner responded:

    "Our primary objective is freedom of movement, and the barriers are obviously the arduous immigration controls between the four countries. We get thousands of emails every single week, pretty much, from people who have a spouse, say, a Canadian who has an Australian spouse, and they cant live in Australia with their spouse or their children because the immigration controls are too crazy. I see it myself when I go back to London every six months for business, family and friends, and I find it bizarre that citizens of member EU countries can go straight through in one, single, fast track line but citizens of Canada, Australia and New Zealand have to queue up in a separate line even though they share the same language and culture as us. To me, it is kind of bizarre; we share far more with these countries than we do with the European Union, so there are plenty of barriers in place that CANZUK International wants to break down and we're committed to doing so, and hopefully, getting majority (if not all) of these barriers broken by 2020"


    The panel interview, which aired on Monday, also discussed concerns regarding the exclusion of other Commonwealth members from a CANZUK initiative, and whether CANZUK International's proposals were solely for free movement and free trade, or whether plans were being drawn up for closer political integration as seen within the European Union.

    The interview came a few days after Canadian Conservative leadership hopeful, Erin O'Toole, endorsed CANZUK free movement and free trade via his campaign website, demonstrating huge support and discussion within Canada about the benefits of CANZUK International's proposals.

    For more information about CANZUK International's proposals and future televised appearances, please contact us.

          
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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

    Use our interactive map for details about your local CANZUK International representative

    CANZUK International

      London, Vancouver, Saint John, Brisbane & Auckland

      Meetings and event attendances are available upon request

    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