A new report commissioned by a leading UK think tank and supported by senior British MPs has declared support for free movement and trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The report, titled “Global Britain: A Twenty-First Century Vision”, was authored by James Rogers, Director at the Henry Jackson Society, and Bob Seely MP, representative for the Isle of Wight and member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
The report also issued forwords from Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, Ian Austin MP, who also resides on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and The Rt. Hon Boris Johnson MP, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Outlining progressive strategies for the UK after its exit from the European Union, including shared values, global engagement, human rights and freedoms, the report outlines CANZUK International’s proposals as “a natural alliance to be deepened and developed”.
“In recent years, particularly since Britain has begun to withdraw from the EU, the idea of closer relations between the four countries – sharing the same head of state, established connections, the same language and the common law – has grown,” the report states.
“In the past, distance has been used as an argument in favour of alliances in Europe and against the UK relationship with its CANZUK allies. However, given that technology is overcoming distance in many fields and direct flights from the UK to Australia began in 2018, the distances between the CANZUK countries are becoming increasingly less relevant”.
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Citing CANZUK International’s 2018 polling results indicating majority support in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK for reciprocal free movement of citizens, the report emphasized the benefits of incorporating free movement between the countries:
“Between 62% and 82% of Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and British respondents claim that they would like to see a common travel area instituted between the four countries. Since 1973, there has been a common travel area – known as the Trans-Tasman agreement – between Australia and New Zealand, which could serve as the model for a wider CANZUK area. The UK should propose the creation of a similar area, extended to all CANZUK states. For example, citizens would still require passports to work in the common area, and they would not be able to claim unemployment (or other) benefits for a five-year period on arrival”.
The report also made reference to other proposals from CANZUK International, including the deepening of trading relations between the four countries (accounting for approximately 10% of the world’s wealth), military cooperation with the sharing of technologies and exchanges, and the establishment of a mutual defence pact.
Increased diplomacy between the four CANZUK countries was also encouraged in the report, with a proposal for Australian, Canadian, New Zealander and British representives to share a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (an idea that has been pushed by Seely since 2018).
“This is a natural alliance to be deepened and developed,” the report states. “As it leaves the EU, the UK should develop closer CANZUK relations in travel and visas, trade, and foreign affairs and defence”.
CANZUK International will continue to work with senior MPs and Ministers in all four parliaments to promote free movement and trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with emphasis on the benefits and opportunities for closer CANZUK relations ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
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