If realized, this proposal would see CANZUK citizens all obtaining the right to live, work and study in any CANZUK country.
The framers of this potential agreement have considered the existing Trans- Tasman Travel Arrangement (which allows for the free movement of people between Australia and New Zealand), and free movement between the CANZUK nations is being considered a natural progression of these circumstances.
But while closer collaboration with our traditional allies is important, a proposal to essentially remove borders between CANZUK countries would be unsuited to Australian interests.
As CANZUK International is citing the Trans- Tasman Travel Arrangement, the distinctions between this agreement and a potential free movement framework for CANZUK countries must be addressed.
Australia’s agreement with New Zealand is bilateral: and therefore is much easier to discuss or renegotiate if need be. When 4 countries are involved, this process would become far more complicated.
Moreover, following legislative changes in 2001, Australia’s government heavily restricted New Zealanders access to our generous welfare system. But under the CANZUK International proposals put forth, immigrants would be able to claim full welfare benefits after they had spent just 4 years in their new host nation.
Despite there being so many similarities in culture, language, laws and history between the 4 CANZUK nations, these countries remain unique. And when Australia federated in 1901, it sought independence to break free of colonial control, and to forge our own path. So that some Australian politicians are seeking the emergence of a new quasi- British empire appears strange, and not in line with the foundations of our national sovereignty.
If we are seriously looking to create our own transnational, free movement arrangement with CANZUK, we must consider the experiences of Europe.
In 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany all signed up to the Treaty of Rome, which established the free movement of workers between member states.
While free movement at the time only applied to workers, these provisions naturally extended to the Schengen Agreement of 1985, which largely abolished internal border checks. With open borders and cross- country cooperation, what could possibly go wrong?
After Angelo Merkel shortsightedly let 1.5 million largely Muslim migrants into Germany, enormous immigration flows to Europe have since been constant. This mass immigration has brought enormous challenges for Europe, with Islamic migrants contributing to terrorism in Paris, destabilizing the continent’s welfare systems, safety, and the presence of a cultural harmony. As once Merkel allowed the migrants in, the European nations in the Schengen Agreement were forced to pay the consequences, due to the free movement allowed across nation states.
Likewise, the Schengen agreement also provides great challenges for counter terrorism agencies, who investigate terrorists that can aptly flee to any 1 of the 28 European Union (EU) countries. In compounding these challenges, counter terrorism agencies then have to reconcile with cultural and linguistic barriers existing across different nation states.
True, the CANZUK countries do share a common language, which would make the circumstances more workable than exists in Europe.
And yet arguably the biggest issue with the EU concerns its status as a supranational, political union, which ever since the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht, has continually trampled on the sovereignty of European people, much like an old empire would.
Besides restricting countries ability to control immigration, the EU compels Europeans to follow much of their human rights, trade, and taxation law, such as that 75 % of the UK’s law prior to Brexit, came from the unaccountable, unelected body of bureaucrats known as the EU.
And for any avid follower of global politics, I need not recant the widespread unpopularity of this organisation across Europe.
So when concerning Australia’s potential place in a CANZUK agreement, I would enquire as to whether it could ultimately emerge to become an EU- like organisation? As what organisation or body will have to rise above the 4 CANZUK nations, in order to enforce the free movement terms of agreement? Given the EU is the largest ever example of free movement across borders in several nation states, this may eventually become the fate of CANZUK, especially if it expands to include India, South Africa, Singapore, Egypt, and other historically Commonwealth nations.
In fairness, not many of those pushing for free movement amongst CANZUK nations are envisioning the creation of a EU- style organisation in 2017. And yet, after the 1957 Treaty of Rome, did the war ravaged nations of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, ever foresee giving birth to a supranational organisation, which would onset a new era of German domination?
Even if there was a guarantee that no supranational, sovereignty- diminishing organisation would ever arise over CANZUK, I have grave concerns over the character of certain groups in Canada and the UK.
This criticism of these nations of personal relatives and ancestors grants me no great pleasure, but frankly, facts are facts.
Canada and Great Britain simply have not and do not possess the same strong border protection policies as does Australia.
As despite the Canadian Prime Minister virtue- signalling his way on path to allowing 40 000 Syrian refugees into Canada, when these chickens come home to roost, Australia should stay clear.
Likewise, Britain’s Islamic problems are well documented, with terrorism, female genital mutilation, Sharia patrols and Muslim segregation all widespread, while Muslim leaders remain complicit in this destruction. Meanwhile, some 45 % of British people wish for an immigration ban on Muslim- majority nations, with even the chief architect of Britain’s first report into ‘Islamophobia’, since admitting the damage Islamic immigration has brought to his country.
Of course, a large number of admirable, well- suited people live in Great Britain and Canada, who Australia should be willing to welcome. But to allow free movement for all the citizens of these countries into Australia, would be highly improvident.
If Australia is truly serious about seeking closer ties to the Commonwealth and allowing CANZUK citizens to live here, why not commit to massive overhauls of our immigration system?
Why not ensure that 80 % of Australia’s immigration stems from selected, well- educated individuals from Canada, New Zealand and Britain, rather than relentlessly flooding our shores with every type of creed, culture, language and religion?
This would seem a far more practical, common- sense initiative, which would strengthen ties with the Commonwealth, serve the interests of Australia, and ensure that our sovereignty remains impregnable.