Global Britain: A Twenty-First Century Vision: The UK should deepen ties with Canada, New Zealand and Australia in a new CANZUK alliance covering trade, defence, academia and research, and visa and travel agreements.
Box 3: Why CANZUK?
As it leaves the EU, the UK should develop closer CANZUK relations in travel
and visas, trade, and foreign affairs and defence. In particular:
Free Movement: Between 62% and 82% of Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and British respondents claim that they would like to see a common travel area instituted between the four countries. Since 1973, there has been a common travel area – known as the Trans-Tasman agreement – between Australia and New Zealand, which could serve as the model for a wider CANZUK area. The UK should propose the creation of a similar area, extended to all CANZUK states. For example, citizens would still require passports to work in the common area, and they would not be able to claim unemployment (or other) benefits for a five-year period on arrival.
Australia and New Zealand have the deepest and broadest free trade agreement in the world. This should be progressively expanded and replicated across all
CANZUK nations, potentially evolving to eventually include also the US.
Given their shared values and interests, the UK should propose the creation of a coordination mechanism to take heed of Australian, Canadian and New Zealand perspectives in relation to its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. This
could potentially develop into an integrated CANZUK seat within the next 25 years at the
UN. CANZUK nations could increase the sharing of diplomatic facilities.
Military Cooperation and Procurement
Building on existing military arrangements, the CANZUK allies and the US should pursue more military exchange programmes and joint procurement, such as the Type 26 acquisition and the development of next generation radars between the UK (Isle of Wight) and Australia. This cooperation could even be extended to other FPDA allies to provide more value-for-money when procuring common naval platforms and maritime technologies.
Joint Indo-Pacific fleet:
Centred on a Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, the UK could propose the establishment of a CANZUK Indo-Pacific flotilla or task group, which could
evolve into a standing and interoperable “Indo-Pacific Fleet”. Australia and Canada could
provide the bulk of destroyers, frigates and support vessels, with additional contributions from New Zealand. This fleet would facilitate larger joint exercises with other FPDA allies, as well as South Korea, Japan, India and the US, to deepen allied joint operations and relationships in the Indo-Pacific.
The UK is well placed to seize the opportunities of the commercial space age. it already produces 40% of all small satellites globally and looks to develop commercial launch systems and a future global Satellite navigation System. Building on
its existing agreement with Australia, the UK should partner with other CANZUK countries to deepen and broaden its space and space-defence potential.
due to the deterioration in global security, the CANZUK allies – along with the US, which already has deep alliances or arrangements in place with each of them – should consider the formation of a mutual defence pact. This could include a mutual defence clause, akin to NATO’s article 5.