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Article published by Paul Waldie - The Globe & Mail

Canada and Britain are quietly laying the groundwork for a new relationship in a post-Brexit era, which could include a trade deal that goes beyond the Canada-European Union agreement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is eager for a UK trade deal with Canada
(photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Canadian High Commissioner Janice Charette said officials from both countries have been meeting for months to discuss trade relations after Brexit.

Canadian trade experts have even offered their British counterparts advice on how to negotiate a deal with the EU and others.

But getting a Canada-U.K. trade deal won’t be easy and will take time, since Britain will have to sort out its relationship with the EU first.

We’ve been having conversations with both the members of the cabinet as well as senior members of the civil service,” Ms. Charette told The Globe and Mail in her first interview since taking up the post last September.

As for Canadian officials offering advice on trade negotiations, she added: “Yes, going back to when [former international trade minister Chrystia Freeland was meeting with Britain’s Trade Minister Liam Fox] back in the summertime, there has been ongoing conversations about how Canada might be able to assist the U.K.

The British government plans to begin the process of pulling the country out of the EU before the end of March, kicking off a two-year negotiating period.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce on Tuesday that Britain will make a complete break with the EU and negotiate a new relationship with Europe. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond also hinted at a complete break with the EU, suggesting to a German newspaper that Britain would “change our model to regain competitiveness” if the country did not get a good deal with Europe.

Ms. May’s pitch will be to create a “global Britain” and she is expected to highlight reaching trade deals with other countries.

That will put her at odds with many business people who have been urging Britain to keep unrestricted access to the European single market. Also, Britain doesn’t have much experience negotiating trade agreements since currently all of that is handled by the EU on behalf of member states.

We have a very deep and comprehensive trading relationship with the U.K.,” Ms. Charette said, “and so we’ll want to be working very hard with them to make sure that they can benefit from [the Canada-EU deal] but also that as they sort out what kind of a trading relationship they are going to have with the EU, that we can preserve and even enhance market access for Canadian companies in Britain, whatever they are going to look like or be like in a post-Brexit world.

Canada and Britain already have political and trade ties that date back centuries. Britain is Canada’s third-largest trading partner, after the United States and China, and the country has been an important base for Canadian companies mainly because of its membership in the EU. Canadian businesses employ more than 50,000 people in the U.K. and the revenue generated in Britain by Canadian firms is more than the value of Canadian exports, which is around $16-billion annually.

One option under consideration is to take the Canada-EU deal, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, and use it as the framework for an arrangement between Canada and Britain.

That wouldn’t be simple. CETA has taken nearly 10 years to complete and it is a sweeping agreement that covers thousands of tariffs and services. It also includes a new dispute-settlement court that has been controversial in parts of Europe because opponents say it could override local regulations. While CETA has yet to be approved by all EU member states, the European Parliament is expected to ratify it soon, meaning most of it will go into effect on a provisional basis.

Britain has been a strong proponent of CETA and Ms. Charette said it is definitely under consideration as a model for any Canada-U.K. deal:

When you look at the U.K., it may be that there are areas where we can even go beyond what is, we think, the gold-standard agreement right now as a modern progressive trade agreement,” she said. “We might even go beyond CETA in a new Canada-U.K. trade relationship and trade agreement. But it’s not too soon to start thinking about it, but it’s probably too soon to be talking about it.

Article published by Press Association

Britain will try to strike a free trade agreement with New Zealand when it leaves the European Union, Theresa May has said.

British & New Zealand Prime Ministers: Theresa May & Bill English
(photo: Stefan Rousseau/Press Association)
The Prime Minister said, after a working lunch with her New Zealand counterpart Bill English at Downing Street, that the two countries agree on the potential for a “bold” new trading relationship after Brexit.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will visit the Commonwealth nation in the coming months to begin a bilateral dialogue between the two nations with the ultimate aim of striking a trade deal.

The small Oceanic country of less than five million people is believed to be seen in Government circles as one of the best prospects for an early trade deal once Britain quits the EU.

It is also one of the global “five eyes” partners who share their security intelligence with the UK, along with the US, Canada and Australia.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Mr English, Mrs May said the two countries have a “strong and growing” trading relationship worth more than £3 billion a year.

Britain is also the second largest foreign investor in New Zealand and its fifth largest bilateral trading partner, she said.

Mrs May went on: “As two island nations we know that trade is essential to the prosperity of our countries and so it’s natural that we share a firm, deep-rooted belief in the power of free trade and open markets to drive economic progress and the importance of ensuring the benefits of growth are shared widely and fairly.

“While the UK remains in the EU we will work together to support an EU-New Zealand trade deal and we will also look to the future and how we can expand our trade and investment partnership.

“Through our new bilateral trade dialogue, we will push for greater global trade liberalisation and reform, share expertise, and identify ways to strengthen our own trade relationship".

Mr English said he wanted to see a trade deal concluded “as soon as possible” after Brexit, and his country was the “ideal partner” for the UK to demonstrate its ability to secure a high-quality agreement.

Asked how soon a deal could be reached, the New Zealand premier said: “With respect to the trade agreement, we would hope that we could negotiate as soon as possible after the exit is completed.

“If the UK want to demonstrate that they can negotiate a high-quality trade agreement, then New Zealand is the ideal partner for that.

Mrs May added: “New Zealand is an important country for us precisely because of the historic ties that we share, the shared values that we have, the shared belief in free trade that we have.

“I think it’s natural that we would look to a partner like New Zealand. Of course we will be negotiating a free trade agreement but we will be looking to get an agreement that is going to work for both sides.

Mrs May’s comments appear to suggest that Britain will leave the EU customs union after Brexit so it can strike trade deals with other countries outside the tariff-free zone.

Mr English said New Zealand stands ready to strike a “comprehensive” free trade deal.

CFMO Comment

The United Kingdom and New Zealand agreeing to negotiate post-Brexit trade deals holds tremendous possibility for our campaign. Free trade (as seen within the European Union and between Australia and New Zealand) often entails freedom of movement and visa liberalisation, so we will continue to advocate our proposals for significant visa reform as negotiations between the United Kingdom and New Zealand are discussed. As new trade deals are established, we will work closely with government officials to ensure freer movement between the two nations is recognised, with similar deals also extended to Canada and Australia.

For more information regarding our campaign, visit us via Facebook or Twitter.

U.S News has unveiled their latest quality of life rankings for the end of 2016, and Canada has topped the charts, with Australia 4th, New Zealand 6th and the United Kingdom 9th.

Canada has topped U.S News' quality of life index
(photo: The Canadian Press)
According to U.S News, "the 2016 Best Countries report and rankings are based on how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies. Sixty nations were measured in the inaugural report".

Attributes for each country were grouped into nine subrankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.

Canada was deemed to have the highest quality of life for its citizens because of a stable economy, tourism opportunities and global status. This also compliments previous rankings, placing Canada 5th in global prosperity, 14th in "ease of doing business" and 15th in global competitiveness.

Commonwealth nations, especially Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, have constantly topped international rankings for economic growth, business innovation, investment, and opportunity. U.S News' latest report also supports the conclusion that with high qualities of life, freedom of movement between the CANZUK nations can function effectively (and actually improve quality of life for citizens further).

With a CANZUK union (adopting free movement) as the ideal solution for Canada's immigration requirements and the UK's future outside of the EU, our campaign is going from strength to strength with reports confirming how similar CANZUK nations are with respect to quality of life, prosperity, and adaptability for free movement to function effectively.

To sign our online petition for free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (with over 172,000 signatures), please click here.

For more information about our campaign, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

A new report, published by the Free Enterprise Group, has called for exploring options regarding freedom of movement between the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Tony Abbott has declared his support for UK & Australia free movement
(photo: AAP - Dan Peled)
The report mentions how free movement between the four Commonwealth nations has previously been mentioned by Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary, Boris Johnson, and that exploring the suggestion "with a feasibility study and working group between these nations should be an option".

This is complimentary to the report's foreword by former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, in which he states:

"The movement of goods between our two countries should be absolutely free of tariffs or quotas. And each country’s product and service standards should be recognised in the other. If a car is fit to be sold in Britain, it’s fit to be sold in Australia. If a doctor is fit to practice in Australia, he or she is fit to practice in the UK. We don’t need a uniform market; we need a common one. We need what the European Economic Community of the 70s promised but failed to deliver.

Provided people are coming to work rather than to take advantage of social security or health services, Australians should also be free to live in the UK and vice versa.

In a world where too many people are frightened of the future, Brexit has shown that a great country and a great people are prepared to “have a go”, as we Australians say. Britons can be sure that today’s Australians will rally to our friends with the enthusiasm for which our forebears were rightly famous."

The full report can be viewed and downloaded here.

This is fantastic news for our campaign, as within the first 2 weeks of 2017, the issue of freedom of movement between the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand has made headlines. We will continue our agenda at the CFMO to ensure further reporting mentions our free movement proposals and senior government officials advocate our proposals within the national parliaments.

For more information regarding our campaign, you can follow us via Facebook and Twitter.

Our online petition, advocating the free movement of citizens between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, has received over 172,700 signatures (and is continuing to rise).

Our petition is one of the fastest growing campaigns on
Help us by signing today
Thank you to all who have signed and shared.

Our support is growing rapidly every day, and members of the public (as well as high-profile politicians and diplomats) are pledging their support for visa free/work permit free travel for citizens between our four nations.

Our petition is also one of the most viewed petitions on this month, as thousands of people across the Commonwealth have signed and shared online, demonstrating huge support for our proposals across the world and promoting our cause to be one of the fastest growing issues within international politics.

The campaign is making tremendous progress, and we are determined to continue increasing our awareness so free movement will be adopted as official immigration policy of the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the near future.

However, we can only achieve this with your continued support…

How Can I Help?

Sign and share our online petition – with over 172,700 signatures, our petition is being viewed daily by politicians, diplomats and ministers across the world. The more signatures we receive, the more we demonstrate the global support for our initiative, providing a mandate for our respective governments to adopt free movement as official immigration policy.

To sign our online petition, please click here.

Join our email campaign – using our email/letter templates, you can download and email/write to your local MP, Minister for Immigration and Prime Minister pledging support for our free movement proposals.

To join our email campaign, please click here.

Contact your local MP – change within our parliaments begins with parliamentary members drafting Bills and promoting causes which the public support. By writing to your local MP, you are asking them to represent your voice in parliament.

For details on how to contact your local Member of Parliament, please click here.

Donate - campaigning, advertising and promotions all require monetary investments to help us achieve freedom of movement.

To donate to the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation, please click here.

We sincerely appreciate all support and efforts made to promote freedom of movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. For more information about how to get involved, please follow us via Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking with the Competitive Enterprise Institute's radio show, Andrew Roberts (historian, author, and visiting professor at the War Studies Department at King’s College, London) discussed the future of western civilization and the proposal of a union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to strengthen free trade, free movement and defense alliances between the four countries.

Andrew Roberts is a leading British author and historian
(photo: University of Zurich)
In a detailed interview with radio show host, Bill Frezza, Roberts explained the strength of CANZUK countries united in economic and global affairs:

"It would be extraordinarily strong. It would be the 3rd largest in terms of GDP per capita [and] it would be the 3rd strongest in the world in terms of defence. We already have the rule of law that is pretty much the same, all four countries have the same Head of State, we have the same language...we've got things that bind us that are far more than any normal union of states".

Roberts also emphasized that the ideal goal of a union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom is to promote a defence agreement with "a free trading area with free movement of peoples". In doing so, the four nations would be able to negotiate significant trade agreements with the USA and advocate greater trading relationships throughout the world.

The full interview can be listened to here.

For more details regarding our freedom of movement campaign, follow us via Facebook and Twitter.

What Does The CFMO Campaign For? Watch & Share Our Campaign Video Why Canada, Australia, New Zealand & The UK? Sign & Share Our Online Petition Get In Touch With Your Local MP

Our Research

What would a freedom of
movement agreement look like?
Is the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement
the ideal free movement model?
What can we learn from
freedom of movement in the EU?