The emerging power of the CANZUK union
Democracy and our Western way of life are currently in crisis. The rise of a militarised China, a crazed and delinquent Russia, and increasing numbers of authoritarian states pose what some see as an existential threat to our Western values. Yet, a powerful development could potentially reverse this situation.
Forces are gathering for a union of four pivotal democracies – an entity known as CANZUK, an acronym for Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Public polling indicates broad support: 68% in Britain, 73% in Australia, 76% in Canada, and 82% in New Zealand. Each nation will remain sovereign, yet they’ll cooperate in foreign policy, defence, freedom of movement and trade, recognition of qualifications, and sharing of security concerns—an existing example of such cooperation being the Five Eyes Agreement, which also includes the United States.
In terms of land area, this proposed union would be larger than Russia, boasting a combined GDP of $6.5 trillion and a population of 135 million. Its military budget would exceed $100 billion, making it the third largest in the world.
While many draw parallels between CANZUK and the EU, crucial differences exist. The CANZUK nations share a common language, heritage, and lifestyle. Their standard of living, employment levels, and political institutions run in parallel. Critics of CANZUK have termed it ‘a white man’s club’, but CANZUK International, the organisation advocating for the union, has stressed that the door will remain open to other like-minded nations sharing the same values, including India.
Historically, the CANZUK countries have fought together in defence of freedom, never against each other – unlike the turbulent history of European nations. Another critical difference with the EU is that no CANZUK nation will impose rules and regulations on another, unlike the centralised control from Brussels.
The emergence of the CANZUK union could reinvigorate global leadership, inspire the United States to remain globally engaged, and establish a third significant pillar of Western values alongside the US and EU.
Each CANZUK nation will also gain unique benefits. Canada could negotiate on more equal terms without the overshadowing presence of its giant neighbour. Australia and New Zealand could face China’s assertiveness more confidently, and Britain, once history’s largest empire, would regain its international influence and join the largest confederation on the planet – a reinvigoration sparked by Brexit during its dire straits.
The prosperity of CANZUK members could significantly increase as a result of this union. Critics who question the viability of trade due to geographical distances overlook the success of global trading giants like China and Japan. Advancements in AI and green technology, like the US Navy’s move towards virtually crewless ships, are likely to reduce shipping costs in the future, making the trading prospects even more favourable.
But perhaps the greatest beneficiaries of this promising development will be the young. They would be free to live, travel, study, and work across the expansive regions of CANZUK. Even retirees could benefit from the freedom to relocate. This exciting prospect is, to borrow a popular phrase, ‘a no-brainer.’ It should be for us grown-ups too.
The rise of the CANZUK union could potentially reinvigorate global leadership, inspire the United States to remain globally engaged, and establish a third significant pillar of Western values alongside the US and EU.
While Brexit initially represented a step away from supranational involvement for Britain, it may have ultimately set the stage for a stronger, more aligned union with countries that share deep historical and cultural ties. The post-Brexit era for Britain may not be one of isolation, but of renewed global influence and connectivity.
Many didn’t think Britain had much of a future outside the EU, but the world has always been our oyster. The CANZUK proposal is just one way we’re demonstrating that. Even domestically, we may find a solution to the aspirations of our member nations of the UK. As federal states within the union, they too could at last stand proud as sovereign states.
The notion of poor, tortured Ireland reuniting and choosing to join this new brotherhood of nations is not beyond the realms of possibility. This would be a testament to the appeal and potential of CANZUK, its promise of mutual benefit, and its respect for national sovereignty.
This is not a mere dream; it’s a potential reality within our grasp. It’s time to seize the opportunity and make CANZUK a part of our shared destiny. In an era marked by uncertainty and rapid change, the promise of CANZUK is a beacon of stability and shared prosperity, a testament to what nations can achieve when they unite under common values and a shared vision. Let’s look towards this future with hope and determination.