There is no shortage of misinformation about our proposals for CANZUK free movement, trade and diplomatic cooperation on social media and political commentary websites. Below, we debunk some of the most common myths about the CANZUK campaign.
Although the CANZUK campaign continues to grow in support from the public, senior Ministers and diplomats, plenty of misinformation is circulated about what CANZUK actually is, and what it would mean for its citizens.
Below, we seek to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and debunk some of the biggest myths surrounding CANZUK International’s objectives:
If free movement is introduced between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, would migration between these countries spiral out of control?
Not at all. There was much concern about this happening when Australia and New Zealand introduced the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement, which permits citizens of each country to live and work in either country. Australia’s population is approximately 23 million, while New Zealand’s population is approximately 4 million. However, despite Australia having a population size 6 times greater than New Zealand’s, migration between the two countries remains stable. This is because both countries have similar qualities of life in terms of healthcare, employment opportunities, human rights, education and standards of living. As Canada and the UK also have the same qualities of life, migration would remain stable between these four countries if free movement were introduced.
Is this campaign all about uncontrolled open borders?
No. Free movement between the CANZUK countries would be nothing like open borders or EU free movement. At present, approximately 508 million citizens from across the EU can enter any EU country and live, work, study or claim social security benefits, with little to no background checks.
CANZUK free movement, however, would require all migrants from the four countries to abide by the existing protocols of the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement between Australia and New Zealand, meaning that citizens who wish to migrate must not have criminal records, infectious health diseases or be on a terrorist watch list (among other limitations). Furthermore, migrants are not permitted to claim social welfare payments (in certain circumstances) until government sanctioned requirements are met, such as citizenship or time spent in the country.
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Why just Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom?
Each of these countries share the same official language (English), the same Westminster parliamentary system, the same respect for a common-law legal system and the same Sovereign. In addition, they are highly economically developed countries, with sustainable economic growth, positive human rights records, low populations 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 obtaining employment and assimilating with each country’s 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.
This could simply not work with other countries in the Commonwealth, due to their conflicting population sizes, economic growth rates and (in certain cases) lack of progress in developing human rights. More information about this can be found here.
Isn’t this just a union of white countries?
No. As mentioned, the union focuses on economic reasons and each country’s ability to assimilate citizens if free movement were introduced. An individuals race, religion, creed or colour does not matter.
Furthermore, the CANZUK countries openly embrace multi-culturalism and have considerable ethnic populations. In Canada, 22% of the population is ethnic, with 12% of Australians, 15% of Britons and 26% of New Zealanders also being from ethnic minorities. The CANZUK countries actually have higher populations of ethnic minorities than certain countries within the European Union.
Will CANZUK, one day, have a common currency? Or a parliament?
No. CANZUK International’s objective is to formulate free movement, trade and foreign policy cooperation between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with each of them acting as sovereign, independent nations.
CANZUK differs considerably to the European Union, as it would operate as a multi-lateral partnership of nation states working together on migration, trade and diplomacy. It would not require any unification or political assimilation as seen in the European Union – no common currency, no parliament, no court system, no national anthem and no high executive.
Is CANZUK free movement only for young people?
No. CANZUK International’s objective is to incorporate free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom for all ages.
Upon introduction, the CANZUK countries may trial free movement for each other’s citizens in segments – for example: introducing free movement for those under the age of 35, or for those with particular skills. Once this has succeeded, they may gradually reduce age and skills barriers, so over time, free movement is introduced for all citizens of the CANZUK countries (as it is between Australia and New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement).
Is CANZUK actually possible?
Absolutely. CANZUK International has already made tremendous progress with its campaign. The initiative has even been adopted by the official opposition in Canada and obtained tremendous support across the four countries.
In addition, if the European Union can utilise free movement, trade and diplomatic cooperation across 27 countries (who speak different languages and encompass different cultures), it is incredibly easy to expect the same from just four countries who speak the same language and share historical, diplomatic and cultural characteristics.
When will CANZUK happen?
It’s hard to say. Developing trade, migration and diplomatic policy across four countries takes time, and given the fluid nature of international politics, priorities of each CANZUK country can change.
However, given the progress CANZUK International has made since our founding, we anticipate significant legislative reform between all four countries by 2020. You can help us reach that target by making an online donation today.
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