• Leading Economist Proposes CANZUK Union

    Between BREXIT, NAFTA and the TPP, trade deals and economic unions (and dissolutions) have been in the headlines lately. And a London-based economist who was the chief advisor for the Leave side ahead of the BREXIT vote has an alternative proposal — a formal economic and military union between Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

    London based economist, Andrew Lilico, has proposed a CANZUK union  (photo: Discover London)
    Published by: News 1130

    The acronym Andrew Lilico, the chairman of consultancy Europe Economics, has come up with, is CANZUK.

    "These countries would join together in a close geopolitical alliance based around trade, free movement of persons, mutual defense relationships, regulatory convergence and who knows what in the future,” says Lilico. "So we come together, and we aim to grow together closer over time, reflecting what are already close cultural and constitutional similarities, and common economic interests".

    Lilico insists it’s no joke — we’re all primarily English speaking nations with similar education and income levels. He says combining our economies could bring each nation greater relevance on the world stage.

    It would be an economic union akin to the EU, where citizens could work in any of the four member nations.

    There’s the opportunity to be part of a major international union rather than be dominated on a regional basis,” says Lilico. “There’s being together with people with a very similar mindset, in terms of their constitutional history and culture, which could be reflected in different ways of organizing regulation or other kinds of international platforms. There’s also the opportunity to come and live in the different places: the UK, or live and work in Australia".

    "There would be mutual defense security. You might find that the British would send the navy to help defend the Northwest Passage or prosecute other Canadian interests."

    Lilico says tech makes geography matter less than ever, and should no longer be the primary reason for economic deals. Under this proposal, the capital of the union would be in a non-U.K. nation — and for those fearing a return to a British Empire like arrangement, Lilico says you should have no fear.

    British economist, Andrew Lilico (photograph: Citywire Money)
    Absolutely not,” says Lilico. “In the time of the British Empire, the British population was enormously larger than the populations in Canada, Australia and many other parts of the Empire. What we’re talking about here isn’t that kind of thing at all. It’s a much more symmetric kind of arrangement. As things stand, the GDP of Canada and Australia would be slightly larger than the United Kingdom, and the population is almost that of the U.K. We’re not talking about any kind of domination arrangement".

    What we’re talking about here is people who look at the world quite similarly, have quite similar constitutions, and closely aligned interests, working together for their mutual support and benefit, and to promote a slightly different way of looking at things".

    Some of the geopolitical arrangements that we’ve had in the world are a little bit obsolete. They reflected the world of the communists and the capitalists, and the kind of east vs. west and to some extent, north vs. south arrangements that have been relevant in the past. But we need to move to a different set of geopolitical arrangements for the future.

    Lilico claims such a union would give each of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand more influence on the international stage. This argument comes with Britain set to formally leave the European Union following a June referendum in which 51.9 percent of voters ticked the “Leave” box.