Australian politicians are calling for freedom of movement to be incorporated within a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, hailing it as an opportunity to “create a powerful force for free trade and liberal values”.
Senator James Paterson, who is the Liberal Party member for Victoria, said an agreement should include “generous provisions” for Britons and Australians to live and work in both countries.
Writing in a report for the Adam Smith Institute think tank, Paterson stated that the two nations are “bound by deep historical and institutional ties”, and short of eventual free movement, relaxed visa provisions should be put in place which grant citizens of both countries the opportunity to easily live, work and travel throughout the two Commonwealth countries.
In the report entitled A Ripper Deal, Paterson said an arrangement would be a stepping stone to creating a “CANZUK Union”, developing trade, migration and foreign policy accords between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
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“In the long term, a free trade, free movement block consisting of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK is an attractive idea in a dangerous world,” he wrote.
Paterson also stated that neither a UK-Australia freedom of movement agreement nor a wider union would require the UK to sacrifice its newly-reclaimed sovereignty from the 2016 EU referendum vote.
The UK and Australian governments are already undertaking the first round of post-Brexit trade talks, discussing trade and provisions for freedom of movement between the two countries. Reports have indicated that, so far, discussions have been successful and “productive”.
Polling also shows significant public support for freedom of movement between the four countries, with the highest in New Zealand at 82%, followed by Canada at 76%, Australia at 73% and the UK at 68% – although these numbers are now expected to be higher.
CANZUK International will continue to lobby and engage with politicians throughout the four CANZUK countries to develop support and encourage legislative proposals implementing visa liberalization and trading arrangements between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
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