Britain’s plan for the union after Britain leaves the European Union with Canada, Australia and New Zealand REVEALED
The plan, revealed by potential future Canadian PM Erin O’Toole MP on the weekend that Britain left the EU, would see Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK ease migration, bolster defence sharing and increase trade between the four Commonwealth nations. Together the “natural allies” of 136 million people account for more than £4.3trillion in gross national income and around 10 percent of the world’s wealth. They also share close strategic relationships with the US through the “Five eyes” intelligence community, the American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies’ Program and a programme to provide interoperability between navies.
Because of their similar GDPs, the risk of “brain drain” and “wage dumping” caused by EU Freedom of Movement would not be there, say supporters.
The so-called Canzuk plan, an expansion of the Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement currently enjoyed between Australia and New Zealand, already has the backing of Boris Johnson, who last year said: “If we can do something better with Australia, Canada and New Zealand we certainly should.”
Last night Bob Seely MP, chair of the Canzuk All Party Parliamentary Group, confirmed the FCO had started to make plans.
Canada’s Conservative Party, currently in opposition, has already formally adopted the plans.
While Justin Trudeau narrowly scraped a victory in October’s elections, popularity for his Liberal Party minority government is waning, leading to the likelihood of a Conservative victory in 18 months.
Speaking on the weekend that Britain formally left the EU O’Toole, currently in a Conservative leadership contest, said: “There’s a real chance of another general election within the next 18 months. If I become PM I will prioritise Canzuk through PM Johnson and counterparts in Australia and NZ. There’s a potential this would form a very real working group and lead to substantive efforts right out of the gate.
“There is much interest across all four partners. With Brexit and PM Johnson’s majority, it would be likely well received in Britain.”
Decisions over migration would be decided by a steering group which would “set the agenda”, he said, adding: “If we get a surge in LNG development in British Columbia, there night be an ability for specialised skilled labour from Britain and Australia and New Zealand. This would be mutually beneficial.
“Similarly, it would for the UK to make a case for any early priorities to fill any gaps in the NHS, for instance.
“It’s an obvious step. We’re a natural fit as allies: since our earliest days we have fought together, we have bled together and shared aspirations together.
“We are all Commonwealth members, we are all security partners, we share the same sovereign, the same system of law, the same commitment to human rights and are already partners in a variety of ways, such as student and defence exchanges.
“This is a natural evolution of that an idea that could align perfectly.”
The former Royal Canadian Air Force captain added: “This is the time to deepen and strengthen ties with Canada’s closest allies.
“It would result in an aspirational multilateralism in a time where people are quite cynical about multilateral organisations around the world, where people don’t really share common interests, and which are essentially games played by bad actors.