CANZUK could be the answer to Brexit – Conservative Article
As we make our exit from the European Union, talks of future trade deals are forever circulating. CANZUK; the economic and political union between the nations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, maybe a strong option.
This union would consist of trade deals, freedom of movement, and working rights amongst the countries. The rising popularity in CANZUK is largely due to the fact that these nations are all members of the Commonwealth. There are also similarities in linguistics, political and common law tradition.
The freedom of movement between these nations would cover 132 million people over 18.1 million square kilometres of land. There are a variety of frameworks that we could base such an agreement on, including Article 45 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, or the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement between Australia and New Zealand.
One of the most prevalent concerns for Brexiteers has been to maintain control of cross border crime and terrorism. The Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement allows free movement for citizens of the two nations. This allows people to move, live, work and reside in either state. In addition, the agreement prohibits the criminally charged or people deemed a significant health concern to public safety to benefit from the free movement.
In basing the CANZUK travel agreement on the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement, there would be a strict limitation on criminals seeking to move between countries, therefore, maintaining control over cross border crime, which has not been maintained within the European Union.
A trade deal between CANZUK nations is the most logical deal post-Brexit. The CANZUK International poll displayed that the majority of people in each nation were in support of a trade deal; even in Quebec, the French-speaking part of Canada.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand stated that “Our countries share common commitments, whether in relation to democracy, human rights, a rules-based order, trade or preservation of peace and security. We are a natural partner on the key issues of our time.”
Ardern makes an excellent point in highlighting the similarities of our economical and political structures. Whilst she is discussing the relationship between New Zealand and the UK specifically, rather than a possible CANZUK agreement, there is no doubt that our nations could work together in trade.
Each nation shares very similar levels of GDP per capita, combining to a GDP of £4.9 trillion. This combination would make CANZUK the fourth largest economic entity in the world. After we exit the European Union, we need to ensure that we remain strong.
One of the most popular arguments against CANZUK is that it is an inherently racist proposal due to the union being four white majority countries. The irony of remainers making such a claim is that the EU is the largest amalgamation of majority-white countries in the world. This argument falls short when you look at the 28 member states of the EU, where each has an overall white majority and are all led by Caucasian heads of government.
Additionally, there has been criticism of the exclusion of non-white majority countries in the Commonwealth, such as South Africa. This exclusion has been labelled as a promotion of a white supremacist agenda, which is absolutely untrue.
In arguing this, people are denying the economic truths of countries such as South Africa. South Africa simply does not match the GDP of the CANZUK nations and, therefore, would not be fit for such an alliance. Equally, the overpopulation of South Africa would mean that they would not function successfully under a free movement agreement with the CANZUK nations. To claim that CANZUK is based on white supremacist ideology is not only untrue but remains ignorant to the economic and political statuses of these nations.
Whether you are a Brexiteer or not, it is essential to recognise that the UK must make the best deal in order to remain economically strong when we part ways with the EU. The CANZUK proposal seems to be a logical solution. This is due to the economies of these nations and the political frameworks of which our countries are built on.
Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Rebecca Selt
Point of Information
We cannot forget that politics is a power game – A Labour Response
It is no secret that the UK needs to secure a deal post-Brexit. This is beyond vital to ensure both political and economic stability in years to come.
Britain has many options that could provide promising relationships and alliances, CANZUK being one of these. Rebecca does well to highlight why its success likelihood looks promising.
However, this naturally comes with a whole host of potential problems.
Most prominently for me is the factor of power. Politics is a power game, to what extent is debatable, but where there is politics there is almost always an element of power play. So it is logical then to have suspicions about CANZUK being a power move first and foremost. For Britain especially, power on the global stage is more important than ever; they lost their power in the EU and must now scramble to redefine themselves as more than just ‘post-Brexit’.
How much of a problem this power play will pan out to be however is currently undetermined. We can merely wait and see which will be more important – stability inside the UK, or their position on the world stage.
Regardless, Britain definitely needs strong relations moving forward. CANZUK is looking quite good and Rebecca’s arguments are fairly convincing. However, we cannot ignore the obvious problems. Politics is a power game after all.
Written by Co-Chief Labour Writer, Abi Clargo
From one union to another – A Liberal Response
With the UK’s Brexit negotiations faltering in recent weeks, it is a massive relief to learn that Canada’s and the UK’s trade talks are going well. Although I still wish that the UK remained in the EU, it is important to not be left out in the cold. Creating a strong union with important trade allies, whose international prowess is on the rise, is brilliant.
The best part of this agreement is the politics side. As we have seen in the EU, successful policies spread across nations like wildfire. It is a place for countries to come together and discuss political problems. We have adopted so many important policies from the EU, I was worried we would never have a location like that again. CANZUK could still do this. Canada and New Zealand, as most would agree, have fantastic leaders. I just hope some of this and their strong policies can rub off on the UK.
My second reason for being so excited comes down to tackling international corporations. We left the EU just as they started clamping down on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other international companies; preventing their fake news, hatred and tax avoidance. It could be argued we left because of this. With CANZUK working together, they may be able to propose fantastic regulation to stop corporations taking advantage of a world that has not yet caught up.
Written by Senior Liberal Writer, Max Anderson