The following appears in Canada's 'Financial Post' newspaper and is presented with permission by the author
Erin O’Toole, one of the candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, has made one of the key planks of his campaign his determination to “pursue a Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand trade and security pact.” The idea of creating a “CANZUK” zone of free trade and free movement of labour is catching on elsewhere, too.
In New Zealand, the junior coalition partner in the government, the Act New Zealand party led by David Seymour (who himself worked for five years in Canadian politics), is explicitly in favour of free movement and free trade within CANZUK.
In official party circles within the U.K. and Australia, the wheels are grinding a little slower, but the former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is already into most of the idea, proposing a free-trade agreement and free-movement area encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. And in Britain, Theresa May’s Conservative government has made it clear it wants new trade agreements with Canada, Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible after it leaves the EU.
The idea of CANZUK begins with a free-trade agreement, free-movement area (the freedom to live and work in each others’ countries) and defence-partnership agreement. O’Toole favours all three of these main planks, and he’s right that it all makes perfect sense.