Why Advocate Freedom Of Movement?
A freedom of movement initiative between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom would bring tremendous economic, political and sociological opportunities, encouraging amicable relationships in terms of visa controls and work permits between each country. By already sharing the same language and culture, CANZUK citizens will be able to easily integrate into all four nations, with free movement providing travel, business and study opportunities for citizens of all ages.
If Free Movement Were Introduced, Would Immigration Between The CANZUK Nations Spiral Out Of Control?
No. There were numerous concerns that immigration would become “one-sided” when the UK joined the European Union, with an over-flow of European nationals migrating to the UK because of the population difference and the strong British economy.
However, a report by the Financial Times in 2014 revealed that according to official figures, the number of European migrants in the UK is almost exactly balanced by the number of Britons living elsewhere in the EU.
If an equal flow of migration can exist under the free movement principles of the European Union and its 28 member countries, there is little to suggest that migration would become uncontrollable within the CANZUK nations, especially considering our sociological and economic similarities. This is also demonstrated through the Trans-Tasman Travel agreement permitting free movement between Australia and New Zealand, where migration flows between the two nations are exceptionally balanced, despite Australia’s population being five times that of New Zealand’s.
What Terms And Conditions Would A Freedom Of Movement Agreement Encompass?
The Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement (TTTA) between Australia and New Zealand provides key ideas to answering this question. The TTTA allows citizens the freedom to travel, live and work between the two nations. However, voting rights and access to social security have been limited for New Zealanders in Australia (and vice-versa) until an application for permanent residency has been granted by the respective host country.
Permanent residency must also be granted by the host country if the applicant wishes to apply for citizenship or sponsor an individual from outside Australia and New Zealand.
Furthermore, citizens of Australia and New Zealand are not permitted to travel via the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement if they are deemed undesirable by either the Australian or New Zealand governments. This applies where the citizen has a serious criminal record, is affiliated with terrorist activities or poses a health concern for citizens of the host nation.
More information about the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement and its place in CANZUK freedom of movement can be found in our report here.
Why Are There Only Four Countries Promoted For Developing Free Movement, Free Trade And Foreign Affairs?
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom each share the same language, the same Westminster parliamentary system, the same respect for common-law and the same Sovereign.
In addition, they are highly economically developed countries, with sustainable economic growth, positive human rights records and a shared historical and cultural bond through a democratic monarchy.
With this in mind, citizens of these countries could integrate well with each other and transition conveniently to a new society, easily attaining employment and assimilating with each countries laws and customs. Trade agreements could also be established very quickly and cooperation in international affairs would reflect each country’s ability to develop existing defence, intelligence and aid partnerships.
Is This Not Simply A Union Of “White” Countries?
No. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are economically developed countries which openly embrace diversity and multiculturalism. This ethos has allowed each of these nations to thrive economically and socially, granting the possibilities of free movement and free trade.
Furthermore, the European Union consists of 28 member nations, most of whom have majority Caucasian populations. Similarly to a CANZUK initiative, it would be unfair to criticise the European Union as a union of “white” countries, as member states are annexed under EU law providing they have positive economic and human rights records.
Is This Going To Be A Smaller, Less Populated Version Of The European Union?
No. One of the major weaknesses with respect to the European Union is its policy of “ever closer union” and advancement of federalism. It is also a major reason why a majority of British citizens voted to leave the European Union on June 23rd, 2016.
Cooperation with respect to free movement, free trade, foreign affairs and crown relations between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will be built upon mutual respect for each nations customs, cultures and nationhood. Although mutual agreements will be encouraged with respect to constitutional and diplomatic matters, no effort in developing a supranational parliament, court system or currency will be made. These will remain matters for each nation individually and not considered future objectives of a CANZUK initiative.