The United Kingdom is entering a new era, with Brexit delivered Britain now stands at a cross roads in our history. On the one hand we can turn inward, shrink from the world, or we can seize the occasion Brexit offers to retake our place in the world. A nation ready once more to embrace the opportunities our history and geography give us to reach out to every corner of the globe.
There is no better place to start than with CANZUK. The United Kingdom’s bonds with the nations of Canada, Australia and New Zealand are historic and based on shared values of liberty, respect for human rights and the rule of law. As such, the basis for greater economic and political cooperation with these fellow English majority speaking nations would not only be easy but highly beneficial for all parties involved.
Conservatives are uniquely placed to embrace and deliver the CANZUK concept, not just because we are the party of government but because it reflects the values which all Conservatives hold near. The pursuit of Liberty, Democracy and Free Trade.
The world is changing fast and in many aspects becoming less certain and secure, old powers are fading and new are rising. In these uncertain times it is important, faced with the potential but also the risks of Brexit we look to our closest allies for cooperation and support.
CANZUK is an important step in a new global Britain, one seeking new trading relationships and new opportunities across the world. CANZUK economies currently make up more than 10% of the global GDP yet only make up less than 2% of the global population. If bound together through agreements on the free movement of goods, capital and people CANZUK can become a truly global economic and trading powerhouse with influence and negotiating capacity far greater than any of its constituent members alone.
As an organisation however, we strongly believe CANZUK can be so much more than a safe harbour in a turbulent world. It represents a singularly unique opportunity to dispel the myth that Brexit has reduced the Conservative Party and this great country in outlook and vision. Over the last four years this nation has been riven by the Brexit divide, but in many ways the Brexit debate has presented a false dichotomy, between an open Britain in Europe or a closed Britain outside it. We reject this fallacy. We see in CANZUK the chance to show the British people and the world our government and countries continued commitment to international cooperation, trade and a world order based on liberal, democratic ideals.
CANZUK will bring together four of the world’s most successful and stable democracies, offering a flaming beacon of just what liberal democracy can achieve. More than just a beacon though, CANZUK can make a tangible difference to a world in flux, projecting stability across the world. We have in recent days seen a joint statement by the governments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom on the Hong Kong crisis, this represents the best of what CANZUK can be.
It is for the reasons set out above why we have come together to establish a new grassroots movement, Conservatives for CANZUK. We seek in the coming months and years to build a mass movement within the Conservative Party which shares our belief that Britain, can and should embrace a new future. It is our intention to use all methods at our disposal to achieve this objective, from social media campaigning to lobbying MPs and reaching out to Conservative Associations across the country.
We are at the beginning of a long journey but one certainly worth taking, for we are confident that though CANZUK may be an old idea it presents the United Kingdom with a new opportunity that must be seized.
Jack Sowerby, Policy Lead, and Jamie Bartch, Director, for Tories for C.A.NZ.UK