After exiting the EU on 31 January 2020, it’s time for us to forge a new future on our own.
On the 23rd June 2016, the UK population voted to leave the European Union and the fate of the United Kingdom was set, ending our years within the Union. We decided to abandon the Single Market and the European Parliament to reclaim our authority to make our own laws and to negotiate our own free trade deals.
Remainers fearmonger that we will be worse off outside the EU, but we stay adamant that our future outside of Europe will be the golden age of modern Britain. In order to make that a reality, though, we must find new allies and trade partners across the globe. Where better to start than the Commonwealth?
For those who are not familiar with the concept of CANZUK, it is the idea of far-ranging political, economic and (potentially) military ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. A close connection between similar cultures, similar political and legal systems and complementary economies, with the great potential to work well together but lacking the centralised bureaucracy and all its drawbacks that come with the EU.
The exact gritty details are yet to be seen, but you could have a single CANZUK trade delegation working to strike new trade deals within regions, headed by the regional leader (Canada-North America, UK-Europe, etc.).
This would allow the other member states to gain trade deals with nations they would not usually pursue (for example, Australia-Switzerland), as a combined force rather than four separate entities, based on mutual agreement rather than legislation and the ability for each member state to have their own separate trade deals if they wished.
You may ask yourself, but what is so different about this? At present, all major trade blocs – the EU, NAFTA, MERCOSUR etc. – are all regionally focused, creating closer ties between geographical neighbours. CANZUK would be a global bloc of developed nations building trade on a global scale, linked by a similar culture and connected history.
It would allow the UK to gain access to the three most economically active regions in the world, with a potential combined market of 4.5 billion people, if India is included, and 80% of the world’s economic output.
All of this combined would make a CANZUK network the third-largest economic body in the world, with a combined GDP of over £6.5 trillion, able to tap into global markets rather than just regional ones. Trade talks are already underway with each of the potential member states and growing support towards CANZUK is beginning to take root. Perhaps it is time to take the next step?