BBC Radio has conducted interviews with high profile historians, government officials and economists to discuss the Anglosphere, including the rapidly growing CANZUK campaign for free trade and free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The 1 hour radio show, titled “Return of the Anglosphere” interviews numerous prominent figures, including James C. Bennett and Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan, about the growing momentum behind the CANZUK campaign and the benefits of greater cooperation between the four countries.
University of Cambridge Historian, Duncan Bell, commenced the interview by describing the Anglosphere as adopting three models; the first of which sees the Anglosphere as States which form part of the previous British Empire (India, South Africa, etc) and therefore seen in the contemporary Brexit debate as countries with the potential to negotiate and form strong trading relations.
The second sees the Angosphere as the combination of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia as trading partners, which would be deemed as constitutionally unstable due to the geographic and political size of the United States and the power imbalance thereof between the five countries.
The third and final model described by Bell, however, is CANZUK; the cooperation of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom for the development of free trade and free movement, and the ability to work alongside the United States in the Anglosphere.
As well as including a segment from Liberal Senator, James Paterson, addressing the Australian Senate about the benefits of CANZUK, and a segment from Canadian Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Erin O’Toole, speaking with CANZUK International, the BBC program also included an in-depth discussion with CANZUK International’s Economic Adviser, Andrew Lilico, about the purpose of the campaign in post-Brexit negotiations and where CANZUK would begin:
“Natural places to start would be a free trade agreement, because they all tend to be quite pro-free trade countries, a mutual migration deal and a defence and security partnership building on the current Five-Eyes relationship which includes those four countries and the United States”, said Lilico.
When asked why a country such as India could not be considered as part of a CANZUK relationship, Lilico responded:
“A key reason why India doesn’t tend to be included in most of these discussions is because its GDP per capita is fantastically lower than those of the other countries. The other countries all have a fairly similar economic development and they also have other similar features such as similar crime rates…whereas India is very different in those kinds of ways. India is quite significantly different in terms of its political arrangements; it doesn’t have the Queen as its Head of State [and] it also has some historical baggage with any involvement with the UK, so its not really seen as a candidate for a deep Geo-political partnership at this stage”.
Discussions also veered towards whether Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom –
cooperating under free trade, free movement and foreign policy cooperation – could replace the benefits of EU membership as the UK prepares to withdraw from the 27 member-state bloc in 2019:
“I don’t think the idea is to replace the EU per se”, said Lilico. The idea is that with us now having to leave the EU, we now need to think of “whats the best thing to try to do next?”, so I don’t think it should be quite seen as a competitor to the EU, but more as the natural next step for us…what Britain did next after we left the EU”.
The full show can be listened to via the BBC iPlayer website here.
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