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Our online petition, advocating the free movement of citizens between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, has received over 150,000 signatures (and is continuing to rise).

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 the most viewed petition on this week, 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 international policy of the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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

How can I help?

Sign and share our online petition – with over 150,000 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 pledging your support for free movement and 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 email our support team at

In a move that will greatly benefit the potential for Commonwealth freedom of movement, the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced that Australia will team up with New Zealand in a bid to negotiate new trade and immigration deals in the wake of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.

He has also ordered an urgent review from Treasury officials and diplomats over the implications of Britain's exit from the European Union.

Following the UK's June 23rd referendum result, the potential for freedom of movement between Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada has now become a hot topic among many politicians and supporters of the initiative.

By leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom will soon be exempt from unlimited free movement with other EU member states, and therefore, able to negotiate its own immigration protocols including free movement agreements within the Commonwealth.

Mr Turnbull told reporters in Adelaide on Monday that he'd been in contact with his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, detailing the implications of Friday's vote as "considerable".

"We have many, many common interests in terms of dealing with that, both from a trade point of view, from a movement of persons point of view..." he said.

"There are some big issues in terms of the access of Australians and New Zealanders to Europe, and indeed, to the United Kingdom."

Mr Turnbull said he wanted to establish a "collaborative, cooperative framework" with New Zealand if he was returned as Prime Minister.

He warned there were "opportunities and challenges" arising from the United Kingdom's decision, and he had ordered a "comprehensive report" on its likely consequences.

As the leading international organisation advocating for free movement between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the CFMO will be campaigning to newly elected officials within the Australian parliament following the July 2nd election. As free movement is a rapidly growing concept among politicians and citizens of our four nations, we are determined to introduce the free movement idea as part of Australia's government policy, regardless of who is elected following the national election.

Considering Mr. Turnbull has acknowledged negotiating immigration deals with New Zealand (in consideration of the UK's referendum result), this suggests that the topic of free movement will be discussed in-depth by numerous officials and diplomats, and we will advocate strongly for our proposals to be high on the Australian government's agenda.

We will also be submitting a formal letter to all Members of Parliament in Australia, detailing the reasons why pursuing a free movement initiative with the United Kingdom and Canada is in the best interests of Australian citizens and the Australian economy. We will publish the letter via our website upon submission.

To contact your local Member of Parliament, Minister for Immigration and Prime Minister in Australia (following the July 2nd election), please visit our Email Campaign section for further information.

[Image Attribution]: Malcolm Turnbull & John Key - Hannah Peters/Getty Images | Customs Border - America Pink

On June 23rd, 2016, the United Kingdom reserved its place in history as it decided to break from the European Union with nearly 17.5 million votes (52%).

With pre-count polls declaring a victory for the “Remain” side, many UK citizens resigned to an early night thinking the referendum was already won.

However, as the early morning progressed, it became apparent that “Remain” voters had not turned out in their expected numbers, and the more passionate “Leave” voters had exceeded all expectations, braving the torrential weather and flooding, and casting their final vote before the decision was announced at 7am British Standard Time.

The vote was final; the United Kingdom would say goodbye to 41 years of EU membership and embrace independence.

This was not an easily fought battle. Both sides of the debate endured grueling campaigns to persuade voters why the UK should stay or leave, dividing public opinion so much that the country was (quite literally) split on what would be best for Britain’s future. Should they stay (and attempt to reform the EU from the inside), or declare the 41 year project a failure and move on?

In the end, the Eurosceptics won, and the long road to negotiating withdrawal from the 28 member block began on June 24th.

But however you may have voted in this referendum, and however you may feel about the outcome, rest assured that the Commonwealth freedom of movement campaign has benefited greatly from the result.

Since the UK’s membership in the European Union began in 1973, the ideology of free movement that existed within the Commonwealth slowly eroded away. As the British government turned their backs on Commonwealth immigration, so too did the Commonwealth in return. Australia, New Zealand and Canada each passed their own Nationality Acts throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, severing most/all ties to Commonwealth immigration and citizenship.

The UK officially became the isolated leader of the Commonwealth at the expense of appeasing the then Prime-Minister, Edward Heath’s, European agenda, and consequentially, countries with so much in common (and shared decades of history) were divided.

However, even though it took 41 years for the British to realise their error, they began the long journey to reconciliation last night.

With a mandate of 52% from the British public, there is now the opportunity of a lifetime to consign the last 4 decades of European preference to the history books, and re-establish the unity that once made the Commonwealth so great.

We have the opportunity to advance our immigration policies, as four independent nations, and re-establish the free movement protocols that have lay dormant in our parliaments for so long - the opportunity to establish free movement between the newly independent United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Numerous politicians from all four countries have declared support for our movement. Daniel Hannan (Conservative Member of the European Parliament) has stated that following a Brexit, he would like to see free movement exist between the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Alexander Downer (Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom) has also expressed his support for visa liberalization and free movement for Australians in the United Kingdom, and a recent poll conducted across all four countries revealed that most citizens back the idea of free movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The support for our campaign is rapidly growing every day. Since the CFMO’s foundation in 2014, our campaign has been restricted due to the UK’s membership of the EU, as allowing free movement from Europe meant compensatory limitations on immigration from the Commonwealth.

However, now the UK is free to establish its own migration policy, it can apply immigration protocols as it sees fit, and if respective of the 2016 national poll declaring overall support for free movement with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, we can all work together to establish freedom of movement between our four nations.

It will take some time, and the road ahead will have many trials and tribulations, but the United Kingdom has taken a massive step to re-establishing free movement within the Commonwealth, which we (and many members of the general public) have campaigned so hard for over the years.

We have made huge strides since our foundation, receiving support from numerous politicians, diplomats and non-governmental organisations, and I am certain that continuing on this path, we will embrace free movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada by the end of the decade.

Congratulations United Kingdom.

James Skinner
C.F.M.O Founder & Executive Director
Vancouver, Canada


[Image Attribution]: Nigel Farage - | Leave Campaign Victory - The Straits Times

A growing number of Australian born paramedics are relocating to the United Kingdom on Tier 2 visas.

Reports indicate that the relocation is because of better pay, more interesting work and improved working conditions. In the last 12 months, Britain has held three recruitment campaigns in Australia aimed at recruiting experienced paramedics and recent graduates.

With the promise of free airfares, generous relocation packages, better training and an improved work-life balance, 450 Australians have, so far, taken up roles in the UK with a further 40 to follow in July 2016.

Australia's Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, visited the London Ambulance Service's emergency control room in central London last week, attending to 'recognise the significant contribution' that Australian trained paramedics were making in Britain's capital city. Mr. Cosgrove was also taken on a tour of the site where a dozen or so paramedics had recently made the move from Australia to the UK on a Tier 2 visa, expressing significant support for their efforts.

Acting President of the Australian Paramedics Association, Amir Samuel, revealed that staff in Australia were 'overstretched', and there is not much demand for recent graduates down under. He went on to say that young, fresh out of university graduates were heading overseas because they were unable to secure employment with a state-based ambulance service in Australia.

The relocation of hundreds of Australian paramedics is just one example of why freedom of movement would benefit both the United Kingdom and Australia. Where new graduates are unable to attain employment in Australia, opportunities exist for them in the UK allowing them to gain valuable experience in their line of work, while simultaneously benefiting the UK economy and health service.

The "paramedic shift" is likely to continue under the UK's Tier 2 visa scheme, encouraging young Australians to move to, and work in, the United Kingdom, with potential for a permanent relocation on the horizon pending the success of the current free movement campaign underway.

[Story contribution by]
[Image Attribution]: London Ambulance Service

On May 26th 2016, UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to assess whether it would be 'sensible' to fill teaching vacancies with non-EU migrants on Tier 2 visas.

Under current UK immigration legislation, schools, academy trusts, and businesses can sponsor applications for Tier 2 visas for non-European Union (EU) and non-EEA citizens. However, according to a report published by Schools Week, the difficulties in obtaining UK visas under the Tier 2 visa system is 'forcing schools to abandon their recruitment plans.'

At the moment, there is enormous interest from the British public about the EU referendum which will determine if the UK stays in the European Union. At the moment, the polls indicate a close contest, but if the UK does decide to "Brexit", would it become even more difficult to find suitable teachers for primary and secondary schools? It is currently the case that teachers from other EU countries can easily live and work in the UK.

Strict UK visa rules have seen a number of schools having to turn away candidates from outside the EU in recent years. The struggle to recruit foreign teachers, including those from the Commonwealth, is likely to worsen in April 2017 when new restrictions come into force, most notably an increase in the Tier 2 visa salary threshold for "experienced workers" to £30,000.

Schools, agencies and sector leaders have urged the MAC to adopt a 'more flexible approach.' Managing director of The London Teacher Pool, Darryl Mydat, said: "Agencies which would previously sponsor groups of foreign teachers to be used for supply or permanent posts could no longer do so since the rules changed, which require the employer to be the sponsor."

Mydat added that the monthly tier 2 certificates of sponsorship cap means fewer tier 2 visas are available, making it impossible to bring in teachers when the designated monthly limit is reached. Schools willing to sponsor immigrants on Tier 2 visas are unable to bring in the teachers they desperately need, as they need a Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship to apply for a Tier 2 visa.

Highlighting the difficulties in bringing in teachers, Mydat revealed that in 2015, he had 25 teachers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA who received job offers from schools, but were unable to get into the UK. He'd like to see the cap lifted for those with any skills shortage occupations.

Commenting on the upcoming salary threshold increase, Mydat stated that most teaching salaries will fall well below the required band, raising concerns that teacher shortages will worsen. With only maths, chemistry and physics teachers exempt from the threshold, teaching shortages across other subject areas could increase.

A report published by the National Audit Office (NAO) in February 2016 found that a lack of teachers across highly-specialised subject areas meant that students were often being taught by 'non-specialists.' According to the NAO, 28% of secondary school physics classes were being taught by teachers holding qualifications no higher than 'A' level in the subject.

The NAO also found that 54% of headteachers working in schools primarily made up of disadvantaged children found it difficult to attract and keep good teachers, compared to 33 percent of other schools.

On June 6th 2016, the MAC requested to meet with government officials to discuss the current Tier 2 system and ways in which it can be improved for those applying from outside the EU. A meeting has been scheduled for July 1st 2016 in London.

[Article contributed by]
[Image Attribution]: Airport - | London - HD Wallpapers

The UK has always maintained good relations with New Zealand (both political and economic), and no better example can be provided than our long history of trade.

In 1970, Britain was purchasing a vast majority of New Zealand exports, including cheese, wool, butter and meats, but everything was soon to change upon the UK's entry into the European Economic Community in 1973. Membership of the powerful new club required cutting existing trade ties with countries of the Commonwealth, and like many nations loyal to the crown, New Zealand was left out in the cold.

Today, only 2.3% of New Zealand exported goods go to the United Kingdom. China buys five times as much, and Japan, Australia and the United States have all become more significant. The old UK/NZ trade deal, however successful, is nothing compared to what it was.

However, after 44 years of membership in what is now known as the European Union (EU), Britain is considering pulling out. The decision will go to a public referendum on June 23rd, and the latest polls indicate a split vote for the British public.

Last week, NZ First leader, Winston Peters, traveled to London to address the House of Lords in a speech backing "Vote Leave". He said the Commonwealth was "a dynamic powerhouse" in contrast to the failing EU, and urged voters to ignore world leaders trying to pressure Britain to remain.

Peters sees Brexit as an opportunity, not just for New Zealand businesses, but to heal a rift dating back to 1973. He wants to model a new Commonwealth free trade deal on the successful New Zealand/Australia agreement, bringing in the likes of Canada, South Africa and India.

International Business Forum executive director, Stephen Jacobi,​ says the big issue is time. Complex trade agreements can take decades to negotiate from start to finish. A newly independent UK will have to renegotiate its relationship with the EU, which is by far its biggest market. But it will also have to start from scratch in rebuilding relationships with 53 other countries. Jacobi​ says there would be a long line to negotiate with Britain, and New Zealand wouldn't be the only ones trying to leverage the "Commonwealth heritage" argument.

As it happens, New Zealand might have bigger fish to fry anyway. Trade Minister, Todd McClay, says our interests are best served by Britain remaining in the EU. That's because free trade discussions with the entire EU are already in train, and New Zealand wants to forge a high quality deal with all 28 member states.

"Therefore our priority would be a negotiation with the European Union" McClay says.

The UK government knows this. It has pointed out that Brexit would only be the beginning of a long period of uncertainty. At least two years will be tied up in negotiating the exit itself, let alone coming up with a new deal with the EU or other trading partners.

Jonathan Sinclair, the British High Commissioner to New Zealand, says the UK government thinks the choice is between economic security and global influence on one hand, and "a leap in the dark" on the other.

"Those that say they want to leave have yet to explain what the alternative model would be, how they would negotiate a new deal, and how long it would take."

Maintaining access to the single market would mean the UK would still have to abide by the bureaucracy and rules Brexiteers want to cast off, such as free movement of people.

"The one thing we all know markets hate is uncertainty," says Sinclair. "It would be emphatically risky."

With voting day rapidly approaching, world leaders are weighing in. US President, Barack Obama, flatly told Britain it would go to "the back of the queue" for a trade deal if it voted to leave. During a visit to London this month, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, warned the UK would become less attractive to investors, as many Japanese companies set up in the UK precisely because it was a gateway to the EU.

The same is true of New Zealand, with more companies established in Britain that anywhere else in Europe. There are, however, plenty of other options available. Fonterra's European head office is in the Netherlands. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Icebreaker both have successful operations in Germany.

Monique Surges, chief executive of the NZ German Business Association, says lots of corporations are already talking about the need to look at alternative locations. While people assume there will be a language barrier outside of the UK, Surges says Germans speak very good English, belonging to a country that houses the largest economy in the EU, is centrally located and has a good legal structure.

"I guess Brexit will force New Zealand exporters to put their historical ties aside and consider a more strategic solution."

Commenters stress that the decision is in the hands of the British public. But New Zealanders have a role to play too - Sinclair says there are about 100,000 expats in New Zealand who should be eligible to vote, and he urges them to register.

Having done their civic duty, all eyes will be turned to the referendum results next month. Jacobi says it's hard to see how Brexit could possibly be positive. There will be significant disruption to the UK, and by extension, to New Zealand. But whatever happens, it's not going to be the end of the world.

"Life's going to continue - the sun will come up again."

Ex-pat New Zealander and entrepreneur, Shane Frith, is part of the UK's Vote Leave campaign.

The former National Party political hopeful from Auckland has lived in London for 12 years, where he has launched several businesses and is a member of the Kiwis for Britain movement.

He said a Brexit would benefit New Zealand in two ways: allowing a new, Free Trade Agreement to be drawn up between the two countries and improve the chances for New Zealanders to live and work in the UK for longer and without having to have close familial links.

"Young New Zealanders can have trouble securing a visa to stay on in the UK past two years, and that is a direct result of Britain being in the EU. We have a shared culture and language but we are in the foreigners queue. Don't get me wrong, I love Europe and have many good friends in mainland countries, but those links do matter." he said.

Frith, who spent two years in Brussels as the director of the think tank New Direction, said the remain campaign was the favourite position of big businesses.

"The bureacracy of Europe is a barrier to success for smaller firms. New Zealand is seen to be a great place to set up a business. In fact, I set one up in half a day and that included bank accounts, incorporation and GST numbers. London is nearly as good. In Europe however, the same process can be very complex indeed with multiple processes to go through. New Zealanders should not be afraid of a Brexit. I have been travelling on a New Zealand passport throughout Europe very easily. Threats the City of London will decamp to Frankfurt are groundless. Frankfurt is not London. London is still the greatest seat of capital in the world in my view."

[Originally reported by]
[Image Attribution: John Key & Jean-Claude Juncker - | John Key & David Cameron - | New Zealand flag - Global Meat News]

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