CANZUK International is the leading advocacy organization promoting closer ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, known amongst diplomats and senior political representatives as “the CANZUK countries”. Through mutual cooperation, these four leading Commonwealth realms can build upon existing economic, diplomatic and institutional ties to forge a cohesive alliance of nation-states with a truly global outlook.
As Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have shared commercial ties, geopolitical aspirations and a venerable constitutional tradition over centuries, it is envisaged by CANZUK International that these four countries should collaborate for the advancement of prosperity and opportunity in the following ways…
As a primary objective, CANZUK International aims to achieve a reciprocal migration agreement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Freedom of movement within the CANZUK countries would apply to all law-abiding citizens and would be an essential ingredient for a successfully open market.
As these nations have compatible economic profiles, this form of immigration would be unlikely to lead to distortions in labour markets. Not only would an arrangement of this kind make good economic sense, it would reinforce a feeling of solidarity amongst the four kindred peoples.
The current migration agreement between Australia and New Zealand, known as the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, is a working model upon which Canada and the United Kingdom can accede to. Although freedom of movement exists for citizens of these countries, there is an exclusion provision for those deemed to be a threat to the national interest. In this way, mobility can foster trade and economic growth while preserving national security and the safety of citizens.
CANZUK International seeks to establish a comprehensive multi-lateral free trade agreement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Customs duties and other barriers to commerce would be removed, and such a union would give its constituent members more collective bargaining power in dealing with larger trading partners such as the USA, China, India and the European Union.
It is also envisaged that a CANZUK trade agreement would implement measures for the mutual recognition of skills and qualifications. Whereas many professionals are subject to arduous re-training and examination protocols when relocating from one CANZUK country to another, a mutual skills recognition agreement would permit those in certain professions to work and practice in any CANZUK country without the requirements of re-training and additional examinations. This would complement a reciprocal CANZUK migration agreement, providing a greater labour market pool for businesses while affording citizens greater opportunities to seek and undertake employment across the four nations.
CANZUK International endeavours to promote greater cooperation amongst the CANZUK countries with respect to foreign policy, defence and intelligence gathering.
The ‘Five Eyes’ (FVEY) agreement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America has been highly effective in gathering signals, military and human intelligence. It provides a useful starting point for a more comprehensive diplomatic alliance between the CANZUK nations which would compliment the work of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). An association comprising Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom would enjoy a more balanced relationship with the United States, and collectively, these countries could be global rather than merely regional players in the geopolitical arena.
In addition, a coordinated foreign policy for the CANZUK countries would facilitate humanitarian support for the developing Commonwealth realms in the Caribbean and Pacific. Such projects could extend to educational schemes modelled on the Rhodes Scholarships and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The already significant collaboration in the staffing of police, peacekeeping and election monitoring between the developed and developing realms provides a good starting point for further cooperation, and such assistance would not only befit countries with a common history, but would also enhance geopolitical security for all concerned.
The shared Sovereign of the CANZUK countries is a highly beneficial aspect of an association. The monarch, who represents a global institution, has played an important role as a symbol of a common heritage and parliamentary tradition. Furthermore, the Crown has been the cornerstone of democratic government and the rule of law over a long history of peaceful constitutional development. It is instructive to note that the English speaking countries which have retained the monarchy have been far more successful in avoiding civil unrest than their republican counterparts.
In concrete terms, the existing dialogue between viceregal representatives and the judiciary of the CANZUK countries should be encouraged. This initiative could build upon meetings that already occur between the Governors-General of the various Commonwealth realms every two years. The joint decision to revise the royal succession laws through the Perth Agreement of 2011 is a good example of effective collaboration in regards to matters of constitutional law.