Discover the advantages of our proposals between the CANZUK countries
Since our establishment in 2015, we have received significant support from the general public, Members of Parliament, political parties and non-profit organisations across the world.
However, one question we are consistently asked by supporters and critics is, why just these 4 countries?
In general, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are more than likely to succeed and prosper under mutual economic and social policies due to their similar socio-economic circumstances. The CANZUK nations share the same majority language, the same sovereign (Queen Elizabeth II), the same Westminster style parliamentary system, the same common-law legal system, the same respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and the same westernised culture. As our campaign has frequently emphasised during radio and TV interviews, we are virtually the same people with “only the cover of our passports dividing us”.
If the European Union can implement an area of free movement and free trade with over 508 million citizens living in 27 different member states – all of whom speak different languages, encompass different legal systems and embrace different cultures – there is no reason why the CANZUK nations can’t also embrace these policies for its citizens.
By simply refering to socio-economic factors, we can see why closer ties between these four countries is common-sensical and logical:
- The English speaking population in each country is very high, meaning that citizens from each country could easily integrate and assimilate into any of the other countries and likely succeed in finding employment, housing, e.t.c.
- Life expectancy in each country is very similar, meaning similar life-style choices and health awareness with access to health care;
- Unemployment rates are also similar yet low, meaning citizens of each country would have high chances of securing employment in the other countries;
- Inflation rates are economically secure, implying stable economies across the CANZUK area and providing adequate circumstances for free trade agreements;
- GDP per capita figures are economically stable, meaning a secure living wage for citizens within the CANZUK area with respect to inflation rates and a high quality of life.
Of course, these are just a few factors among many, but emphasize how compatible the CANZUK nations are with respect to formulating closer diplomatic ties.
With such similarities, sharing our labour resources and establishing free trade agreements would benefit the CANZUK economies significantly; allowing labour shortages to be filled from willing workers within the CANZUK area and an increased skills pool to advance economic growth and aggregate supply.
In general, the four countries have the ideal economies to benefit from free movement, free trade and mutual foreign policy, and our shared socio-economic, cultural and historical similarities make the CANZUK initiative a highly-valuable pursuit for the future.
However, at the time of writing, there are 50 other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. Are there any other countries within our historical union that could also succeed under a free movement initiative?
Over the past few years, we have received a lot of correspondence regarding 5 countries in particular who could be considered part of free movement and foreign policy initiatives; South Africa, India, Jamaica, Pakistan and the Bahamas. We have also received queries regarding other nations within (and outside of) the Commonwealth, but the aforementioned five have been the top countries mentioned. We will use these 5 countries as examples of the significant problems that occur when additional countries are brought into free movement and foreign policy initiatives with the CANZUK area.
From correspondence received, South Africa has been the country most questioned with respect to joining a free movement initiative with the CANZUK area, but in terms of socio-economic statistics, issues regarding assimilation and economic compatibility arise;
- With an English speaking population of only 9.6%, citizens of South Africa could find it difficult to assimilate into British/Canadian/Australian/New Zealander lifestyles, and likewise if citizens within the CANZUK area were to emigrate to South Africa;
- A GDP per capita of only $5,000+ (USD) could see increased numbers of South African citizens migrating to CANZUK countries for better employment, income and quality of life prospects, with not enough citizens from the CANZUK area migrating to South Africa in return. This not only puts strain on public infrastructure within CANZUK economies, but also causes a “brain drain” (skills shortage) within the South African economy itself;
- With an unemployment rate in South Africa of 35%, this would also increase the likelihood of South African citizens relocating to the CANZUK area in search of greater employment opportunities, placing strain on all economies involved.
Although South Africa shares a common history and many cultural similarities with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, it is unfortunate (yet clear) that in terms of socio-economic analysis, a free movement initiative between the CANZUK area and South Africa would not only strain the economic stability of those countries, but would likely result in the free movement initiative failing. Other observations from the aforementioned statistics regarding South Africa, India, Jamaica, Pakistan and the Bahamas include;
- English speakers (population): high numbers in the CANZUK area, but numbers are either low or not recorded within the 5 additional countries for consideration. This means assimilation would be very difficult for citizens who do not speak English, and difficult for CANZUK citizens to assimilate into such non-English speaking countries;
- Life expectancy from birth: above 80 years in each CANZUK country, but considerably lower in the other 5 countries mentioned. This potentially implies differing lifestyle choices and lower health awareness, which could in turn place increased strain on CANZUK healthcare systems;
- Population: with Pakistan’s population being over 6 times that of the CANZUK countries combined, and India’s being nearly 40 times that of the CANZUK countries combined, a free movement initiative with these countries could see a large scale migration of citizens to the CANZUK area, placing a huge strain on the infrastructures of all economies involved;
- GDP per capita: considerably higher in the CANZUK area than the other countries, meaning citizens from other countries would likely migrate to the CANZUK area for higher income prospects and quality of life, and not enough CANZUK citizens would be willing to relocate to other countries for lower income jobs, especially with considerably higher inflation rates;
- Unemployment: between 5-6% in the CANZUK area, but considerably higher in South Africa, Jamaica and the Bahamas, implying citizens of these countries could emigrate to the CANZUK area in search of higher employment prospects, which in turn, would create job shortages within the CANZUK area and skills shortages in South Africa, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
From a socio-economic standpoint, it is clear (albeit unfortunate) that integrating other Commonwealth nations within a free movement initiative at this time would not work. At present, additional countries (such as South Africa, India and Pakistan, to name a few) do not meet the economic criteria that is essential for free movement and foreign policy initiatives to succeed, as the benefits of freedom of movement can only be guaranteed by countries that are very similar in terms of socio-economic characteristics, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Given that the CANZUK area is so similar in terms of social, economic, cultural and historical factors, it would be folly not to promote free movement, free trade and foreign policy among these countries and observe the numerous economic and social benefits such policies would bring.