MP Responses in Support of CANZUK

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Absolutely, I very much support a trade deal with those countries. Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have a similar basis of law, they have a common democratic system, they have the same types of legislation and regulations around investment and trade. Those are the types of things we don’t enjoy with China. I was a big proponent of Brexit before Brexit even happened [and] we should be pursuing a free trade deal immediately.

Andrew Sheer (Leader of the Conservative Party)

I’ve described CANZUK as a no brainer, we have our five-eyes security partnership already with these countries and with the United States we already have free trade and free mobility with our citizens, why would we not extend this to our other closest allies? If we do, we have 125 million people, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres from Asia-Pacific to North America working together for global security, and for better prosperity for all of our citizens.

Erin O’Toole (Conservative Member of Parliament for Durham, Ontario)

Brexit will allow Canada to negotiate a larger and more impactful trade agreement with Britain than its deal with the European Union.

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada)

I am pleased that we have agreed to amend this MoU with Australia and further strengthen the great relationship between our two countries International travel and work allows our youth to immerse themselves in a different culture and develop life skills, all while improving their employability back home. This expanded age range will give more young adults from Canada and Australia the opportunity to broaden their perspective of the world and gain professional work experience while traveling.

Ahmed Hussen (Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship)

Dear Benjamin and Matthew,

Thank you for you interest in free trade and specifically CANZUK.

I was pleased to be able to sponsor petition E-1986, hopefully this petition spurs a conversation that would encourage further discussions related to free trade. We share so much history, tradition, and legacy with and deepening trade and movement relationships would have significant benefits for all four countries. This conversation is especially relevant with the United Kingdom Leaving the European Union on March 29th.

Thank you again.


Kevin Sorenson (Conservative Member of Parliament for Alberta)


I believe that whatever the merits of Brexit may be in the UK, that’s a domestic debate here, I think it offers greater opportunities for Australia in the UK than ever,” he said on Friday evening local time. I can assure you that we will do everything we can to enable the UK to enter into the most favourable, open, fair and reciprocal trade deal between Australia and the UK. The UK will once again become a nation that looks to the whole world, and not just to Europe.

Malcolm Turnbull (Former Prime Minister of Australia)

We share big ambitions on what the UK and Australia can do on global trade.. We haven’t done the agreement yet. It is hopefully not too long. It is very aspirational in terms of the quality of the deal. We would like to commence negotiations at the start of the interim period, with a view to concluding it during the interim period and have it come into force on the 1st January 2021.

Steven Ciobo ( Former Minister for Trade)

I rise tonight to discuss a unique opportunity that Australia has been represented with by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the United Kingdom. First of all I would like to commend the Turnull government and trade minister Steven Ciobo for their decisive action to begin discussion of a post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement with the UK putting us at the head of the queue for Closer Economic Relations (CER) following the Brexit Referendum in June Last Year but as I suggested in the Financial Review Last Week we have a rare opportunity to go one step further too. With ultiple Commonwealth nations looking to sign post-Brexit Trade agreements with the UK, we could also form a new Global Trade Block with our closest Commonwealth Allies. The Commonwealth countries which would most easily fit in this new block would include Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – a group collectively known as CANZUK.

James Paterson (Liberal Senator for Victoria)

The coming Britain-Australia FTA should mean a dramatic increase in trade opportunities between our two countries without disadvantaging anyone else. First, there should be no tariffs or quotas whatsoever on any goods traded between our two countries – there should be no exceptions, no carve outs, nothing. And second, there should be full recognition of each country’s credentials and standards.

Britons and Australians already have more than two hundred years’ experience of each other so why not allow them more freely to travel and work in each other’s country, provided no one’s bludging?

Tony Abbott (Former Prime Minister of Australia)

Australia is very keen to pursue a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom…I think that would be precluded if the United Kingdom were to rejoin the [EU] customs union. Australia would want to secure rights enabling its citizens to work in the UK as part of any deal.

Julie Bishop (Former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister)

Australians would appreciate the ability to live and work in partner countries (these include Canada, Australia and New Zealand), opening up a wide range of job opportunities and the potential to learn new skills, while their citizens could enjoy the same in Australia.

Such agreements would be an asset to the Australian labour market without placing additional strain on economic resources.

Bilateral free-migration agreements make sense because they don’t necessarily result in any permanent change in our population, or become a drain on our welfare budget.

Senator Leyonhjelm (Leader of the Liberal Democrats)

The TPP is a land-mark trade deal that will see enormous benefits to export economies and I am hopeful that the United Kingdom will seek to be a part of it when it leaves the European Union.

As someone who has long-advocated for a Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom trade agreement, if the UK were to join the TPP it would effectively achieve that goal by bringing together those nations in a free trade zone.

Senator Eric Abetz (Liberal Senator for Tasmania and chairman of the Australian Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.)

Thank you for your email. I will talk with our shadow minister Jason Clare about this proposal

Senator Claire Moore (Labor Senator for Queensland)

New Zealand

We Are Committed To Closer Relations With the UK. We all know our shared history.

After all, around four in every five New Zealanders still claims British heritage; our foundational Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 was signed by Māori chiefs and representatives of Queen Victoria, and our people served alongside one another through two world wars. We share common political and legal systems, our Westminster parliamentary tradition, our apolitical public service, and the direct relationship New Zealanders enjoy.

Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand)

Together, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK are 125 million people. We have the potential for huge advancement by allying the best of our innovation, entrepreneurship and culture through free movement. I hope we will grasp this opportunity with both hands.

David Seymour (Leader of the ACT Party)

We support a free movement deal, the Government should be doing everything it can to ensure Kiwis can travel more freely, especially to the United Kingdom.

But we have seen no evidence the Government is taking this seriously.

The UK International Trade Secretary was recently in Australia and announced both countries were exploring a deal, but this hasn’t happened with New Zealand.

The Government needs to get this on the agenda as soon as possible, otherwise we will be left behind Australia

We see a free trade agreement with the UK as a platform for free movement.

It could be as simple as expanding the successful bilateral migration arrangement we already have with Australia. New Zealand already has strong ties with these Commonwealth nations, through families, friends and businesses. It’s time for Boris to take the idea (CANZUK) to the Cabinet table in London.

Simon Bridges (Leader of the National Party)

We are so like-minded and so alike. It just follows that we should have a better trading relationship or trade rule base between the two of us if the UK is in a position to negotiate.

David Parker (Trade Minister of New Zealand)

The UK first signalled that New Zealand would be a ‘first cab off the rank’ for a post-Brexit FTA in March of last year. The government must make the most of the opportunity a trade negotiation presents. In particular it will be important that Kiwis gain better work visa access to the UK, and improved access for agricultural products.

Todd McClay (MP for Rotorua)

United Kingdom

The British are more deeply contacted with Australians – culturally and emotionally – than with any other country on earth. The issue may come down to political climates and the resulting political will. The UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand share the same head of state, the same language and the same common-law legal system. Critically, they are all highly economically developed democracies and there is also a distinct common culture and familial bond between them.

Boris Johnson (Prime Minister)

Words such as friend and ally somehow fall short in describing the relationship between Britain and Canada. The ties that bind are so strong, the affinity between us so deep, that I prefer to think of our countries as different branches of the same family.

So it’s natural that in my second week as Foreign Secretary, I should be coming to Canada for my first bilateral visit.

Dominic Raab (First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

We want a fully comprehensive trade deal, that reflects our deep ongoing relationship, befriendship between our two countries and the fact that Australians want to come, live and work in Britain and Brits want to come and work in Australia and leaving the European Union really does give us a chance as a country to become more outward looking, to become more competitive and to deepen our links with our partners right across the world and the reason that I’ve chosen to make Australia one of the first countries I’ve visited as trade secretary is this is an absolutely priority for me to get on with this trade deal.

Liz Truss (Trade Secretary of the UK)

Australia is one of the UK’s closest allies…our relationship with Australia is based on shared history, interests and values, and we have a dynamic modern friendship including a significant exchange of people and goods.

Jeremy Hunt (Former British Foreign Secretary)

The Canadian Conservative Party has just voted to adopt a policy of unrestricted free trade, free movement of labour and enhanced co-operation among Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This policy known by the acronym CANZUK feels like an idea whose time is coming. It is supported by large majorities in all four of the constituent countries.

Daniel Hannan (MEP for South East England)

We’re anticipating an ambitious trade agreement as quickly as we’re able to get there. I think there’s a lot of opportunity and we’ve had some really good discussions with the Australian government about that already.

What we have been doing is warming it up so that the moment we are ready to negotiate, we can move quickly. We would like to start negotiations as soon as possible after the 29th of March.

Menna Rawlings (UK High Commissioner to Australia)

There is a great constitutional injustice occurring at our nation’s border. It is an injustice that is not known to too many UK nationals; however, it is well known to the 73 million people outside the UK who share Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as their sovereign. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of a family of 16 Commonwealth realms, which form our oldest and closest union: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. The loyal people of those nations have fought alongside Britain, defended us and worked with us to form a global family of like-minded countries that have much in common with our cherished history, heritage and traditions, our culture and identity, our constitutional arrangements and parliamentary democracy, our legal system, our language and, of course, Her Majesty, as our Queen.

Andrew Rosindell (Conservative MP for Romford)

These informal talks underline the importance of this relationship in a trade and economic sense. We’re working very hard with the Canadian government and ministries to put in place a sort of safety net in the event of a no-deal Brexit, so that businesses can continue unaffected.

Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque (UK High Commissioner to Canada)

New Zealand is one of our closest and greatest friends. With our deep shared heritage and unwavering commitment to free trade, it is only right that New Zealand is one of the first countries that we will look to strike a new trade agreement with after we leave the European Union.

Together, New Zealand and Australia account for over £15 billion of annual trade with the UK and we invest £42 billion into each other’s economies. With such strong links, I am delighted to see progress being made by our Australia and New Zealand trade working groups to reduce barriers to trade and work towards new trade agreements.

The U.K. will join Canada in leading a new free-trade alliance: We have the chance to build a unique partnership, standing shoulder to shoulder and defending our prosperity against the siren song of protectionism.

Dr Liam Fox (Former International Secretary of State for International Trade)

We are entering an exciting new era for Britain and Australia with our two nations having one of the strongest relationships in the world.

Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education)

The Government might also consider a CANZUK migration deal with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, to strengthen ties with our old friends on the international stage while ensuring we have access to skills from around the globe.

Ben Houchen (Mayor of the Tees Valley )

Dear Mr Craig
Thank you for contacting me about the proposal for free movement of people between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. I know that Ministers are aware of this proposal, known as CANZUK, and they are very enthusiastic about our future relationships and trade with each of the countries involved. For example, in the case of Canada, the Government is currently very supportive of the free trade deal between Canada and the EU. The Government is currently considering out future immigration system and trade policy, and will set out its proposals in the coming months. For my own part, I hope that the Government will chose to increase trade and cooperation with Canada, Australia and New Zealand – they have long been close partners with the UK, and I believe it would be in all our interests to deepen these relationships after we have left the EU.

Yours sincerely

Bill Grant (MP Member of Parliament for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock House of Commons London)

We should integrate our armed forces much more. We (the British, Canadians and Australians) would be a formidable power. We would operate on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Pacific. We would represent 130 million of the most affluent people in the world.

Bob Seeley (Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight)

Has my right hon. Friend heard of CANZUK, and is he encouraged by it? This is the plan being proposed in the Canadian Parliament for a Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom trade partnership after Brexit. Does he share my enthusiasm for it?

Michael Fabricant (Conservative MP for Lichfield)

Australia and New Zealand are two like-minded partners with whom we share strong cultural and political links, as well as appreciating the benefits of free and open trade.

We share extensive trade, investment and cultural ties. The UK is Australia’s fifth largest trading partner and the second largest destination for Australian overseas investment. We have commonalities in systems of law and governance and a shared heritage as members of the Commonwealth. This common outlook demonstrates why Australia must be one of the first countries with whom the UK signs a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) post-Brexit.

Emma McClarkin (British Conservative MEP for the East Midlands region)

Hi Philip

Thank you for your email. It may interest you to know that I am aware of the CANZUK movement and I am fully supportive of the deepening of ties between our Commonwealth brethren. Whilst I opposed leaving the EU and will continue to campaign for single market and customs union integration, I don’t view this as mutually exclusive and I think the CANZUK vision offers a vital opportunity to expand British influence in the world. You have my assurance that I will be working to that effect where possible.

With best regards,

Paul Sweeney MP (Labour Co-operative Member of Parliament for Glasgow North East)

Thank you for contacting me about CANZUK. Brexit offers an opportunity for the UK to become a free trading, global nation once again. It is absolutely right that post-Brexit we make the most of new trading possibilities around the world, including pursuing closer economic relations with the Commonwealth. It is welcome to see New Zealand has adopted CCER as official government policy. In the future hopefully Australia, Canada and the UK will do the same. I look forward to seeing the UK develop an international trade policy post-Brexit, championing free trade across the globe. I hope to see our close friends and partners in the Commonwealth at the heart of future trade policy. I will be closely following developments regarding CANZUK in the suture. Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.

Chris Green (Member of Parliament for Bolton West)

Thank you for your email. I understand that this idea is gaining traction and will certainly be considered as part of our new relationship with other countries following our departure from the EU. As I am sure you can understand that the nature of this relationship including free movement arrangements will depend entirely on what is the outcome of the negotiations and the timing. I will carefully consider plans in the next Parliament should I be returned this week at the election. Best wishes

Caroline Caroline Ansell (Former Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Eastbourne and Willingdon)

It is why our country is b‌eing invited to work with Australia, New Zealand and Canada as a free trade pioneer with a strong group of anglo-saxon countries that believe in it and are developing it world wide whilst the EU stumbles or delays. These are the opportunities for us.

John Redwood (Conservative MP for Wokingham)

At the moment, the current system is not a fair one. It prioritises some European countries within the EU, and places such as the Commonwealth, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America are not receiving the same priority.

Jack Brereton (Conservative MP for Stoke and Trent)

The hon. Gentleman, with typical straightforwardness, is making a case for the perpetuation of free movement. He believes in freedom of movement from the European Union, but presumably he does not believe in freedom of movement from New Zealand, Canada, Australia or the West Indies, which he has just spoken about. What is it about Europe that is different from those countries that have such historic ties with the United Kingdom?

Sir John Hayes (Conservative MP for South Holland and the Deepings)