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Our Year In Review: 2018

It has been a great year for the CANZUK campaign, with many milestones accomplished towards free movement and trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We take a look at our biggest achievements from 2018, and what 2019 holds for our campaign.

2018 has been a tremendous year for the CANZUK campaign and the advocacy efforts of CANZUK International

Written by James Skinner

James is the founder & chief executive of CANZUK International in Vancouver, Canada

            

From numerous government officials declaring support for our CANZUK campaign, to our proposals being adopted as federal party policy – it has been a great year for CANZUK International and the campaign for closer ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Throughout the year, we have interviewed with multiple news outlets such as BBC News, CTV News and Global News (among others) about our proposals, and have gained viewership from millions of people who have subsequently visited our website and written to their local Members of Parliament pledging their support for CANZUK.

With thousands of emails and letters sent to the parliaments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, senior government officials have also backed the campaign, including the leader of the opposition in New Zealand, Simon Bridges MP, and former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott MP. The support from MPs and Ministers was also complementary to growing public support for free movement between the CANZUK countries, with independent polling in April concluding 68% support in the United Kingdom, 73% support in Australia, 76% support in Canada and 82% support in New Zealand. Over 265,000 people have also signed our online petition advocating same.

CANZUK International will also be commissioning independent polling in April 2019 which will research public sentiment towards reciprocal free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.


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Support for free trade among the CANZUK countries has also grown exponentially in 2018, as the UK gets ready to leave the European Union in March 2019. Each of Canada, Australia and New Zealand have declared their interest in establishing an immediate free trade deal with the UK, with many MPs requesting such trade deals establish migration and visa arrangements between the countries.

In turn, this has led to government sources confirming that special passport arrangements are being discussed “at the highest level” for citizens of Canada, Australia and New Zealand ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union – a move which was also complemented by the UK’s recent decision to open e-passport gates at British airports to citizens of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, thereby easing movement of all visitors and permit holders at UK airports.

Developments in trade and migration were also endorsed by leading think tanks across the world including the McKell Institute in Australia and Demos in the UK, who published proposals stating that a trade agreement would provide a constructive way forward at a time of rising global protectionist sentiment. CANZUK International was, however, most grateful for the support of the Adam Smith Institute in the UK, who publicly declared their support for free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, citing the initiative as a movement who’s time has come.

Finally, and most notably, CANZUK International was successful in lobbying the CANZUK initiative at the Conservative Party of Canada convention in Halifax, where it obtained over 97% support from attending delegates and was adopted as official party policy heading into the federal election (scheduled for October 2019). This is the first time that a major federal party has adopted CANZUK International’s free movement and trade proposals, and will now form a key component of the party’s platform.

As such, there is no doubt that the CANZUK campaign has gained tremendous momentum and success this year, and we at CANZUK International are honoured to lead the campaign and continue its success into 2019. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all of our supporters around the world for their volunteer work, donations and encouragement, as without you, our campaign would not exist. Together, we are making, and will continue to make, tremendous strides in accomplishing free movement and free trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

From all of us at CANZUK International, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2019. Thank you for your continued support.

      
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