CANZUK: The next big thing?

As the UK continues to drift away from the EU it becomes increasingly important to seek out new geopolitical alliances and trading partners. The Tories have pivoted towards the US to fill this role. However, with its scepticism of globalisation and lack of credibility the Trump administration is hardly an ideal ally. Instead we should turn towards Canada, Australia and New Zealand and form a “CANZUK Union”.

The CANZUK Union would be led by a Council of Prime Ministers and built on three pillars: free trade, freedom of movement and intergovernmental cooperation. A trade deal would strike down tariffs and regulatory barriers but not create a customs union. This would allow each member to pursue its own regional trade deals. The existing travel agreement between Australia and New Zealand (1) would be extended to involve Canada and the UK. Building on Five Eyes and NATO arrangement committees of government ministers would cooperate on areas such as defence, security and foreign policy.

This new union is not intended to replace EU membership. Over 50% of our imports come from the EU, compared to 3% from Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined. Of our exports, over 40% go to the EU compared to 3% to the CANZ countries (4). Geography determines who we trade with most, and we can’t just move Britain to the Pacific. 

Nor should CANZUK attempt to revive the British Empire. It should be a partnership of equals with a rotating presidency and a headquarters outside of Britain. CANZUK has been referred to as the “white Commonwealth”but all four countries are diverse societies, and this diversity should be embraced.

There are plenty of reasons why CANZUK is a natural alliance. All countries are Commonwealth realms with Westminster-style parliaments, common law-based legal systems and majority English-speaking populations. All are developed economies with low unemployment rates and a similar GDP per capita, and are ranked by Forbes as among the top 10% of countries to do business in. Furthermore, all are overshadowed by larger economies nearby: the UK by the EU, Canada by the US and Australia and New Zealand by China.

CANZUK would be popular with voters by avoiding the flaws of the EU. Without a commission, parliament or court of justice it would be cheaper, more accountable and less bureaucratic. Polling in each country  already shows support for freedom of movement and the idea has found support amongst politicians such as Erin O’Toole in Canada, Eric Abetz in Australia and David Seymour in New Zealand.

* Jack Watson is a Mechanical Engineering student and Secretary of Edinburgh Young Liberals

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42 Comments

  • Alisdair McGregor 10th Mar '17 - 10:47am

    In the mouths of the Conservatives & UKIP, “CANZUK” really means “the white bits of the Commonwealth”. Let’s not try to pretend that this is anything other than deliberate.

    The actual economic problem with such an arrangement is very simple; for Canada, Australia & New Zealand, the utility of a relationship with the United Kingdom is that the UK provides an access into the EU markets. Brexit is directly detrimental to the formation of a CANZUK grouping.

    The same is true of the much-vaunted “Atlantic Bridge”, so often spoken of (but rarely defined) by the disgraced Liam Fox. The truth of the UK as an Atlantic Bridge is that a bridge requires two ends to be useful, and the Brexit Bunch have bent 40 years of their energies to demolishing one end of it.

    As with CANZUK, so with the Atlantic Bridge.

    The Truth is that the UKs future prosperity is bound up with the EU. Either remaining in it, or returning to it once the Brexiteers delusions are shown in all their glory.

    I hope that the former happens, because once gone the industries quitting the UK due to Brexit will not return quickly, if at all.

  • How would this white-majority paradise avoid the flaws of the EU?
    What are the flaws it would avoid – presumably “some parts not having English as a first language”?

    Does this really make up for the geographic dispersedness and inevitable effect on the environment having this as our primary trade partnership would have?

    I can imagine lots of people’s answers to the questions I pose, depressingly.

  • Sounds deceptively simple. But both Australia and Canada have abysmal records on tackling climate change. Australia’s coal industry and Canada’s tar sands would be big impediments to negotiating a trade deal, unless the UK were to abandon its emissions targets.

  • Samuel Cardwell 10th Mar '17 - 11:10am

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s a bad idea, and it’s something that could/should be reclaimed from the political right. It seems silly to shy away from our most natural partners (this is true of the EU as well, but here we are). It wouldn’t have to be just those countries. It could be open to other countries to join if they wish. It might be appealing to some (probably not all) of the Commonwealth nations.

  • Leaving aside Andrew and Jennie’s excellent points, what makes you think the absence of a democratically elected parliament makes such an organisation more accountable? I’m not sure I follow your logic. A rotating presidency that you suggest has far less democratic accountability.

    You don’t want a court – but how would you enforce decisions in international trade disputes?

    And what makes you think the other nations would say yes – especially when invariably they are already in groups or seeking to develop them (eg TTPA) that would be in conflict with this new grouping.

    And to reiterate Andrew and Jennie’s point: this would be seen -correctly – as an imperialist move, as majority white nations with an imperial past would invariably end up placing tariffs on former colonies.

  • A ‘white majority paradise?’ What is the EU? A significant number of British Asians voted for Brexit because they disagreed with the EU freedom of movement giving benefits to (mostly white) EU citizens, that people from their origin countries do not have. Canzuk would only be equally offensive.

  • “A significant number of British Asians voted for Brexit because they disagreed with the EU freedom of movement giving benefits to (mostly white) EU citizens, that people from their origin countries do not have. Canzuk would only be equally offensive.”

    So not actually better, then, even on this one narrow point?

  • Matt (Bristol) 10th Mar '17 - 11:41am

    I have nothing against these nations, but it is really another way of trying to compromise with Daily-Mail-level racism in a more palatable form, whilst still making us vulnerable to US economic imperialism and protectionism, as they are a major trading partner of all these nations.

    A liberal Brexit (not that I want Brexit at all) would take trade and immigration deals with India or Brazil much more seriously than the Tories are doing.

    This is just playing the Tory game.

    In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries we went halfway round the world to find trading partners (causing some damage on the way) partially because we were simultaneously engaged in multiple wars for status, monarchic dynastic control, religious division and other forms of strong-arm political influence with our nearest neighbours.

    I had thought we’d got away from that and didn’t need to regard our nearest nation-states as the ‘enemy’ any more?

    This is just playing the Tory game.

  • Thanks Andrew.

    Thinking more about it, I can’t help but feel the thinking here is very similar to Brexit thinking. It’s based on a viewpoint that other countries should give us exactly what we want – and that this might be possible with Australia, Canada, New Zealand (I’m not sure what reason we think they would, but that’s the logic?) It’s a logic that says we can do a deal with them with no appreciable downside. That there’ll be no need for a court to deal with trade disputes. We’ll all agree on things so we don’t need a parliament to make decisions.

    It’s pure fantasy: that what we want is right for everyone – and that people in other countries will go along with exactly what we want.

    What makes it worse is that it’s pure fantasy designed around building an imperialist, white-majority block. Of course, that’s also a view point that’s often expressed by those of a Brexit frame of mind.

    Let’s not play the Brexit game. Let’s not do this. Let’s fight for a union of diverse European nations where we compromise in the common interest of each country, democratically – instead of considering a fantasy-based imperialist alternative to the EU.

  • Eddie Sammon 10th Mar '17 - 12:11pm

    I’m a bit fed up with big political unions, but the idea is not as bad as some are making out. The UK has more to offer these countries than simply EU market access, so there could be interest in a deal.

    The big objection seems to be that this is the white Commonwealth, and I am uncomfortable with picking and choosing bits of the Commonwealth too, but it could be defended on grounds of the most economically developed countries of the Commonwealth (you could include some others too).

    Personally I’d rather we focus on strengthening the United Kingdom, which starts with a major charm offensive to the Scottish, Northern Irish and even the Welsh, even though support for independence is not as high there. We could also strengthen our ties to Briitsh exapts and our overseas territories by giving them an MP.

  • Nonconformistradical 10th Mar '17 - 12:48pm

    @Jack Watson

    “CANZUK has been referred to as the “white Commonwealth”but all four countries are diverse societies, and this diversity should be embraced.”

    Jack – what planet are you living on?

    There is a long history of discrimination by white Australans regarding indigenous Aboriginal people, Asians etc. I picked deliberately a couple of articles from the daily mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2709148/Half-Australians-racist-Aborigines-one-five-away-public-transport.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4003270/Racism-Australia-Ethnic-Chinese-face-discrimination-Aborigines-90-claiming-treated-differently-Asian.html

    Here’s an article from Radio New Zealand about discrimination against Maoris in New Zealand http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/287010/stats-show-maori-still-facing-discrimination

    Here’s one about discrimination in Canada https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/02/23/federal-government-accused-of-racially-discriminating-against-first-nations-children.html

    Britain only has historical close links with these countries because white Britons (and French in the case of Canada) occupied these lands, exploited the indigenous populations and turned these lands into white-dominated societies.

  • Sue Sutherland 10th Mar '17 - 1:44pm

    I think you might also find that these countries might not be so eager to go back to the 70s as a lot of people here seem to be. When we joined the EEC their trade with us was dealt a blow they haven’t forgotten so why should they want to help us out now?

  • A trade deal with the likes of India and China would never be desirable like the Brexiteers think. Cheap goods with volatile quality, and worse, counterfeit products (especially from China) would flood British home market. There would be no EU barrier to protect Britain anymore.

    Actually, forming some commercial connections between EU-UK and CANZAC is a quite interesting idea.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 10th Mar '17 - 10:29pm

    Gosh, as a member of the Federal International Relations Committee, I’m not sure where to start…

    Funnily enough, countries such as Mauritius and Vanuatu are “Commonwealth realms with Westminster-style parliaments and common law-based legal systems”. They mostly speak English, and yet aren’t considered as possible options. And whilst our correspondent doesn’t seem to want to include them, he gives the misguided impression that only white Commonwealth countries would be a good fit. Now, as someone of Indian origin, that does raise my hackles somewhat. But let’s assume that there is no subliminal issue here.

    A shared heritage is, in itself, no foundation for coming together into some form of formal free trade area. There has to be some sort of coherent logic. And why would you bring together four nations separated from each other by thousands of miles as opposed to the nations in their respective neighbourhoods? For that is what appears to be being suggested.

    Frankly, if I was looking to expand British exports and trade, I would be looking beyond the relatively mature markets of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and focusing on countries with rapidly emerging middle classes – India being the most obvious. But, of course, as already noted elsewhere, they’re just the wrong colour, aren’t they, and they’ve already made it clear that greater freedom of movement is a prerequisite for a deal. But what about countries like Mexico, Chile or Indonesia?

    No, this is the sort of concept that would send a message out to the rest of the world that we would rather turn the clock back to 1950. Worse yet, it would give an awful impression to the developing world at a time when, by restricting student numbers from those countries, we are weakening our long-term relationships there.

    What we need to do is start building relationships globally, if we really must proceed with Brexit. And it’s not just about sending one-off delegations of businessmen and politicians, it’s about maintaining those relationships through a strengthened diplomatic presence and taking an interest in their concerns. We might do well to make it easier for people to apply for visas to come to the United Kingdom rather than harder, so that they can trade or study. But that seems to be the very antithesis of Brexit, so I won’t be holding my breath…

  • The easiest way to keep it from being a “white man club” is to not leave it as one. Start with CANZUK, yes; those countries are politically and legally similar enough that something workable is possible. Once that’s said and done, though, leave the door open for other Commonwealth members to join: the other 12 Commonwealth realms and smaller Commonwealth republics like Singapore or Trinidad and Tobago (I can’t see larger ones like Nigeria or India being remotely interested).

  • I wish people pushing the farcical Canzuk idea would learn a bit about Canada, Australia and NZ and their trade relations.

    Oz and NZ are aggressively deepening their trade relations with Asia. They’ve scrapped most goods tariffs: for example, about 70% of vehicles in NZ come from Japan. Is there seriously an export opportunity for the UK there? Seriously? Selling what? And sending it all that way?

    Canada, meanwhile, is deeply integrated into NAFTA. It follows US auto standards. Britain uses UN/European standards. Again, what are we planning to sell to Canada? Financial services? How will they be regulated?

    Meanwhile, all the Canzuk countries have highly-efficient agriculture sectors that can’t wait to open up Britain’s highly protected farm sector. That’s why they’re interested in doing trade deals with Britain.

    I can’t imagine a worse way to manage trade relations than Imperial nostalgia. Canzuk certainly don’t do it that way.

  • Lester Holloway 11th Mar '17 - 7:42am

    The idea of an Anglosphere of English-speaking nations with the UK at its’ head has been lurking in dark rightwing corners for many a year, and has sadly crawled out into the open after Brexit. Their economic case is flimsy and issues of trade seem to merge into issues of culture (with Anglo-Saxons at its heart). Eurosceptics have long been more preoccupied by resentment at being part of a club they felt culturally and linguistically remote from over the obvious benefits of being part of a trading bloc. You just have to look at the CANZUKers to see who they are politically and philosophically. Liberals should have nothing to do with such Victorian nostalgia from the wingnuts of the ruling class. There is no glorious future with far-flung old bits of the empire that have institutions made in Britain’s image.

  • James Parry 11th Mar '17 - 8:08am

    It’s not a new idea. ‘Empire Free Trade/Imperial Preference’ aiming at the white Dominions, was an idea promoted by the Tory right in the early part of the Twentieth Century. It was adamantly opposed by the Liberals. The Tory-dominated National Government tried to implement it in 1932 (look up ‘Ottawa Conference’ on Wikipedia) but it never really flew because the Dominions saw little advantage for themselves in such an arrangement. Imperial Preference was abandoned in the Second World War when the Americans insisted on its dismantlement under the Atlantic Charter. If it could not get off the ground in the heyday of the British Empire it is hardly a serious option today.

  • Stephen>A lot of people banging on about ‘we can’t do this because of the 18th, 19th Century, the Empire’, etc.
    It’s only because a lot of Brits have a form of nostalgia for the Empire, and imagine that Britannia does still rule the waves, that they imagine we CAN plough the oceans alone and don’t need to answer to those pesky French or Germans. It’s a delusion of national self-importance that helped fuel the Leave vote. And if you challenge it, you are accused of being unpatriotic.
    Lot of NZers meanwhile still resent us massively for dumping them in 1973 when we joined the Common Market. Now we go crawling back for deals? To a country of just 4.5million people, 11,000 miles away?

  • Antony Watts 11th Mar '17 - 9:03am

    The first three EU values are:

    1. The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.

    2. The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime.

    3. The Union shall establish an internal market. It shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance.

    Is this what we are talking about or just accounting tricks and money games?

  • Peter Watson 11th Mar '17 - 9:10am

    There are plenty of reasons why this might be a bad idea, but I’m confused by the criticisms of it on the grounds of skin colour given that the preferred alternative is the predominantly white EU.

  • James Parry – Imperial Preference was proposed by Liberal Joseph Chamberlain (by that time had shifted to the right but still a progressive reformer), based on the ground that British manufacturing businesses must be protected from cheap dumping. He had a point. Imperial Preference had little advantage for Canada, but it did had a positive impact on Britain itself. Of course, it was dismantled after the ww2, when Britain was too heavily indebted and economically dependent on the Americans.

  • If the Commonwealth countries had the slightest interest in doing this, they have had decades to set one up without us. They have never even tried to do so, so it is ridiculous to assume they will want do so.

    In addition, even a brief glance at our exports would show just how unimpressive a deal it would be. Canada, for instance, would fall – in terms of trade value to us – roughly half way between the Czech Republic & Sweden. Those barely make into the top ten of our trade partners with the EU. Australia is less import than Poland to us trade wise and, as Poland has twice its population, Poland has a lot, lot more potential for us – or, at least, it would if the government weren’t hell bent on acting as though they were captains of the Titanic and determined to sink the iceberg at all costs.

  • http://www.canzukinternational.com/2017/03/former-pm-calls-for-australia-uk-free.html

    Former Australian Prime Minister Mr Abbott has also recently been calling for freedom of movement between AU and UK.

    This is something I would strongly welcome for personal selfish reasons.

    As someone with an Aussie spouse and been together almost 20 years and civil partnership for 4 years. The Barriers that face us to move too my partners home country Australia are immense.
    We have virtually no chance of being able to do this due to my long history of mental health. I just would not be accepted for the Visa to do it.

    We face barriers because Australia does not currently recognise same sex marriage / civil partnerships on top of the other Visa issues

  • Sorry, but this article is a load of nonsense, with not an iota of political economy sense.

  • Do we hear a clamour from Canada, Australia or New Zealand for stronger links with Britain? Do we even hear a peep?

    Don’t we, instead, hear Australians talking about the “cultural cringe”, and their need to break free of it – simply to gain self-confidence as an independent nation?

    What might CANZUK think of Britain, then, when Britain has ignored them for years, but suddenly Britain wants to make friends, now that the British have fallen on hard times?

    The Ozzies do have the language, you know, to deliver an appropriately robust response!

  • Matt (Bristol) 13th Mar '17 - 10:23am

    Mark Wright – “First, it’s perverse for people to complain that this is a “white only” suggestion, when the non-white population is higher than in the EU.”

    If you compare the proposal to the EU, you are right. (But, of course, the EU is more diverse than this proposed community in other ways – ie it is not monolinguistic.)

    But – for me at least – the comparison I was making was with the Commonwealth, because I feel this is really an edited Commonwealth, with the non-majority-white nations left out.

    Certainly, we share a common linguistic, historic and legal and constitutional history with India, and as you say, South Africa.

    I don’t say this is an _overtly_ racist concept. But I feel this is – potentially – an attempt by liberals to appease racists.

    It starts from the wrong point. To me, the underlying assumptions here are, now we think that we have left the EU and must therefore decrease our trading relationship with it, and a close relationship with the US is not as publically palatable as it used to be what is the group of nations that we could form a trade agreement with that we could sell to those people who voted for and advocated Brexit?

    I am all for links with these nations, and know that many people there resent the way the fact of the EU link having broken the previously close immigration links we used to have – but the establishment of a four-way ‘bloc’ with them, excluding other nations of whom that is also true – particularly if it involves giving them privileged trade and immigration status we are not giving to others – sends out wrong signals to the world, one of which is about the revival of the British colonial legacy, and about the revival of a Commonwealth in which there is a (racial) hierarchy.

    If Brexit calls for fresh thinking, let’s see some fresh thinking. This is not fresh thinking, this is ‘Libkip’.

  • Peter Martin 13th Mar '17 - 4:02pm

    “The CANZUK Union would be led by a Council of Prime Ministers and built on three pillars: free trade, freedom of movement and intergovernmental cooperation”

    Having lived in Australia for the last 25 years or so I can safely say that the idea of getting Australia and NZ to agree freedom of movement with the UK is a non-starter.

    Free trade and intergovernment co-operation would be more of a possibility.

  • I thought I’d address some of the concerns expressed in the comments section. First of all though, a little personal background. I campaigned and voted for the UK to remain inside the EU. I still believe that we’d be better off inside the EU. If we have to leave I’d rather we stay inside the single market as an EFTA member. I want the party to continue fighting for Europeanism.
    I don’t think that’s contradictory to the CANZUK idea. As I said, CANZUK can’t and shouldn’t try to replace the EU. For years, we’ve cooperated with the other 3 CANZUK countries through NATO, Five Eyes, the Commonwealth and umpteen other organisations while inside the EU. Making the best of a bad situation, we can now formalise this cooperation and build free trade and freedom of movement into the equation. It doesn’t mean turning our backs to our neighbours in Europe; we’re a nation of Europeans and even Brexit can’t take that away.
    Many commenters are concerned by perceived racial implications of this idea. True, the four CANZUK countries have majority white populations and a history of imperialism. The exact same thing can be said of most of Europe. Europe is home to many former imperial powers- France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, the list goes on. It is also the continent where some of the worst acts of ethnic cleansing and racial persecution have occurred. But the European dream is one of a better future, of defying our awful legacies and standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. I’d like the same to be said of CANZUK. We shouldn’t forget the crimes of the British empire, but we should work together for the better of all our citizens- not just white British but Aboriginal, Maori, First Nations, child of Jamaican or Pakistani parents, Polish or Bulgarian immigrant, and all the rest.

  • Matt (Bristol) 14th Mar '17 - 3:25pm

    Jack, I still don’t think you’re really getting why people are raising race as an issue, because it’s not about what percentage of which country is from what ethnic group, it’s about the perceived revival of the institutions of the past as a direction for future travel.

    Partnership between the UK and almost any given European country would not automatically embolden the Right of that country.

    Partnership between the UK and these four named countries – in that combination – would be more likely to embolden the Right of those countries, because there are groups in those countries (their ‘UKIPs’) who long for a return to a ‘white commonwealth’ approach.

    The people advocating for CANZUK in the CANZUK countries are not the equivalent LibDems of those countries, because this is not perceived as a ‘liberal’ idea. This is a ‘conservative’ idea, in those countries. It would be seen as bolstering a ‘take back control’ agenda by those who also advocate a whole slew of socially conservative measures (have you looked at the policy platforms advocated by Eric Abetx, who you cite above, for example?

    For this to be seen as a liberal idea, there would need to be more than an agreement to work on trade and security issues, which is what you outline.

    For eg, there would need to be a joint statement on human rights (something the Canadians are historically well ahead of us on) – but good luck on getting the current Australian government on board with such a proposal…

    The direction Mark Wright outlines of expansion towards a more ethnically diverse range of countries would need to be hard-wired in from the start, also, to avoid these messages being sent.

  • Jack Watson 14th Mar '17 - 4:09pm

    Matt, the idea of granting freedom of movement and free trade to other countries is fundamentally liberal. And we already have a joint statement on human rights with Canada, New Zealand and Australia- the Harare Declaration, which all Commonwealth members sign up to. Actually a CANZUK declaration on human rights would be fantastic- of all Commonwealth members the CANZUK countries have some of the best human rights, and other factors such as environmental justice and democracy could be added to it. An international agreement to commit to human rights, environmental justice and democracy is just another argument in favour of CANZUK!

    I take your point that the right wing would like CANZUK because it appears to be a revival of the British empire. But that just means it should be designed so that it is not the British empire. It could cooperate on tackling issues such as sexual violence as a tool of war, modern day slavery, human trafficking, political corruption, international crime, etc. Members would be equals who join voluntarily and are clear from the offset that they are opposed to racism, sexism and xenophobia. And the door should always be open for other Commonwealth realms to join providing they meet the criteria. To me that would mean some degree of intelligence sharing and NATO participation, a GDP per capita above a certain threshold and a low crime rate.

  • Matt (Bristol) 14th Mar '17 - 4:54pm

    Jack, it is only towards the end of your last post that I began to warm up to your version of this idea.

    You have begun to put flesh on the bones here. I don’t, however, hold to the notion that NATO membership is a prerequisite for any new grouping. Why should it be? We cooperated in the EU with multiple non-NATO members.

    As to the Harare doctrine, we did not pass human rights legislation into our fundamental law (which Canada did in 1982) until we received pressure from the EU. Intent to behave in a certain way is not the same as creating fundamental rights for the people of your country. With regard to the Australian Liberals, we are talking about a party that has created an offshore detention facility for asylum seekers, and recently threw their toys out of the pram when Trump played them at their own game and refused to commit to Obama’s proposal to take those vulnerable people held there.

    Referencing the idea that free trade and free movement of people, in themselves, are ‘fundamentally liberal’ … No. They’re not. Their apparent presence (and they are relative terms, not absolutes) might get a nation to the ‘liberal democracy’ startline, but it doesn’t get it a gold star.

    They’re highly useful – and many would argue unavoidable – tools towards the establishment of a liberal ethos in a nation, but they’re not inherently liberal, nor the sum total of liberalism. To me personally, liberalism is about what happens next, how you harness a free trade economy and a mixed, open, mobile population in dialogue with each other, in a democratic community that commits together to share resources among the population and work against poverty, inequality, against social division and for international peace.

    You are now answering my point more clearly, which I respect considering that I was quite negative, and I do now get that you are trying to advocate that we should be seeking to design something that is _not_ the British empire, but you still haven’t got much further than the Balfour Declaration of 1926.

  • The highest level of enthusiasm for a CANZUK free movement zone came from NZ and the lowest from the UK.
    Some of the people commenting here obviously haven’t been to NZ – it is not a ”white” country; it is very diverse and Maori culture is a big part of the overall atmosphere. Someone here commented that NZers massively resent the UK for joining the EEC in the 1970s. This is nonsense. Only old people even remember it and nobody resents something that happened 40 years ago and from which NZ went on to bigger things.

  • https://www.canzuk.co.uk/single-post/2017/03/10/Lilico-What-other-countries-might-eventually-join-CANZUK

    I was interested to find this article by Andrew Lilico addressing the issue of including the other ‘non-white’ Commonwealth nations, as I’m frankly less enthusiastic for this proposal unless it does involve such countries – for the reasons of race and history mentioned by other commenters.

    I was disappointed, albeit unsurprised, to see him effectively rule out membership for these countries until they can be ‘considered’ after ‘some decades’, over concerns for lower GDP per capita and higher crime rates. Surely, including them in some agreement early on would be far more effective for their development than waiting for them to work ‘well together for a few decades’?

    All in all, this piece by Andrew seems much more of an op-ed afterthought to placate accusations of racism than a serious consideration of widening a CANZUK agreement.

  • Historically white, it’s true, but the fact is that all of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK are multicultural societies now.

    I think the real reason that primary focus is on these is that they represent the most politically stable (possible exception of the UK these being the UK these days) of the Commonwealth nations.

    On a personal note, I think if we had freedom of movement with Canada, New Zealand and Australia then I’d be off like a shot!

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