Chief Executive of CANZUK International, James Skinner, has been interviewed live by major news network, Global News, discussing the developments of the organisation’s campaign and the future of free movement and trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Speaking with host Justin “Drex” Wilcomes on Global News’s nightly broadcast, Skinner discussed the issues surrounding the CANZUK campaign, including the benefits (and concerns) of free movement and trade between the four Commonwealth nations.
When asked by Wilcomes what considerations would have to be given by the four CANZUK countries to implement free movement as part of cooperative foreign policy, Skinner responded:
“I think the main consideration is…what are the security risks of having free movement between these countries? It’s a very fair question as in the 21st century, we have increased terrorism, cross-border criminal activity…it’s a very fair question indeed. The response to that would be that these four countries are engaged in one of the most comprehensive intelligence alliances in the world known as the “Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance”, and these countries share human, signals and military intelligence…so the security is definitely there in place and its something that would certainly work with free movement between these countries”.
As the interview progressed, concerns were raised about whether free movement between the CANZUK countries would create a migration imbalance between a country such as the United Kingdom (with approximately 64 million citizens) and New Zealand (with only 4 million citizens), leading to a problematic influx of citizens to smaller populated nations:
“I don’t believe so, not between these four Commonwealth countries”, said Skinner. “Seeing as the CANZUK countries have very similar economic growth rates, very good inflation rates, very good methods of tackling unemployment, very good social security, very good health care systems – there’s not going to be any rush of immigrants rushing to or from any countries in that way. The same applies to Australia and New Zealand: both are very economically developed countries and there’s no massive migration exodus of Australians to New Zealand despite them having a population 6 times that of New Zealand’s”.
Skinner also emphasised the “bizarre” status where free movement is not permitted between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, despite the countries having the same ancestry and the same familial bonds through the Commonwealth.
Discussions also centered around the CANZUK nations being able to base free movement on the current Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement existing between Australia and New Zealand, which provides for the free movement of skills across the Tasman sea and subsequent economic growth:
“What you generally find with citizens within these four countries is that they are mostly skilled”, Skinner said. “They are University educated; a lot of them who want to travel are young; they are under the age of 40 and they have exponential skills which they can apply to each country and therefore develop economic growth, develop business opportunities, increase innovation and [increase] investment”.
An external link to the full live interview can be found here.
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