A leading Senator within the Australian parliament has advocated for Australia to form a CANZUK arrangement with Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, including free trade and freedom of movement for citizens.
James Paterson, the Liberal Senator for Victoria, spoke this week about Australia’s upcoming trade negotiations with the United Kingdom, and how last year’s Brexit referendum provides the ideal opportunity for CANZUK free trade and free movement to form.
He commended the current government “for their decisive action to be in discussions for a post-Brexit free trade agreement with the UK”, placing Australia at the front of the queue to form closer economic relations with the UK (Australia’s 7th largest trading partner).
“We have a rare opportunity to go one step further too”, he said. “We can also form a new, global trade bloc with our closest Commonwealth allies…Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom; a group collectively known as CANZUK.”
“Collectively, these four countries have a combined GDP of $6.5 trillion, and they account for $3.5 trillion in global trade. That means a CANZUK trade bloc would have the fourth largest economy in the world, behind only the US, China and the EU. Removing existing tarrif barriers would substantially increase trade between these countries.”
Senator Paterson also emphasised that establishing trade and free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom wouldn’t require lengthy or arduous negotiations, as the Closer Economic Relations agreement (CER) between Australia and New Zealand would be the ideal platform to base future negotiations on:
“The CER agreement already prohibits all tariff and trade restrictions on goods originating in the free trade area. Rather than drafting an entirely new agreement from scratch, Australia should advocate adding Canada and the UK to the CER agreement.”
Emphasising their close cultural and historical connections through the Commonwealth, Senator Paterson also advocated “free movement of people between the four Commonwealth countries”, due to socio-economic similarities and popular support from the public.
The full speech from September 5th, 2017, can be viewed here:
Join CANZUK International on social media