Former Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Boris Johnson MP, has renewed his call for a Trans-Tasman-style free-movement area between the UK and Australia after Brexit, following the launch of a report calling for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to make relations with Australia a top priority after leaving the European Union.
The report, authored by Conservative MP, Bob Seely, and the Henry Jackson Society, said Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom represented “a natural alliance to be deepened and developed”.
Citing a 2018 poll from CANZUK International, the report said that between 62 and 82 per cent of citizens from the CANZUK nations are in favour of a “common travel area” between the four countries which would occur from Canada and the UK joining the existing free movement agreement between Australia and New Zealand.
Other proposals in the report included the four navies creating a “standing and interoperable Indo-Pacific fleet”, a mutual defence pact with NATO-like obligations and a formal arrangement for the UK to share its UN Security Council seat with Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“Bob [Seely]’s ideas about the Anglosphere are entirely correct…if we can do something better with Australia, Canada and New Zealand, we certainly should,” Johnson stated at a press conference in London, adding that he had long championed the idea of a common travel area between Britain and Australia.
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“These are nations that are very similar in many ways – we share very, very similar interests and a uniquely shared set of values.”
In a foreword to the report, Johnson also said the proposals represented “creative thinking about improving our already strong relations with the Anglosphere”. In 2013, Johnson also emphasised his support for increasing relations between the CANZUK countries, saying “the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand share the same head of state, the same language and the same common-law legal system. Critically, they are all highly economically developed democracies and there is also a distinct common culture and familial bond between them”.
CANZUK International will continue to work with MPs across Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to ensure that free movement is implemented between the four countries along with trade and foreign policy arrangements.
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