Conservatives back free movement between Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand

Aug 31 2018, 8:27 pm

The Conservative Party of Canada have adopted CANZUK, a free movement policy for citizens and trade between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

petition promoting freedom of movement between the countries has gathered almost 300,000 signatures to date, but this has been the first political recognition in Canada.

“With the Conservative Party of Canada’s adoption of our proposals, our campaign is now recognized as official federal party policy heading into the 2019 election,” CANZUK’s Chief Executive James Skinner told Daily Hive. “We’re hoping that other parties, whether in Canada or in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, will build on this momentum and adopt our proposals as part of their party policies in the months ahead.”

CANZUK International was established in January 2015, and since then, has worked with numerous MPs and diplomats throughout Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (the CANZUK countries), according to Skinner.

“We have received tremendous public support for our work, with over 76% of Canadians in favour of freer movement between the CANZUK countries,” he said. “We have also received recognition from senior politicians including former Prime Ministers and current Cabinet Ministers in all four countries.”

Conservative Party of Canada

The non-profit group’s free movement plan has the following proposals for the four “CANZUK” countries:

  • Citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom should have the right to live, work and study in each others’ countries
  • That freedom of movement should be based on the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement between Australia and New Zealand
  • Customs and commerce restrictions should be removed through the establishment of a comprehensive multilateral free trade agreement between the CANZUK countries
  • CANZUK countries should cooperate more on intelligence, defence, and foreign policy, to help the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance, NATO and the UN Security Council
Canadian and British passports (Norman Chan/Shutterstock)

Canadian and British passports (Norman Chan/Shutterstock)

The right to freedom of movement would mean all CANZUK passport holders could undertake any form of work in the other countries. However, under CANZUK International’s plan, they would not be able to claim social welfare payments until they had spent four years in the host country.

As for what lies ahead, Skinner said they will be speaking with MPs and Senators in all four countries to discuss the proposals in the coming months.

They also hope to create “a dialogue about the benefits of migration agreements, trade deals and foreign policy cooperation between the CANZUK countries.”

“We will also be emphasizing that our online petition has received nearly quarter of a million signatures, and our proposals were passed with over 97% support at the Conservative Party Convention in Halifax last week,” he said.

With files from Jenni Sheppard. 

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