It’s no secret that I am a committed free trader and my reading of history suggests to me that:
- Free(er) trade always leads to greater prosperity for most and to more peace (or, at least, less war); and, therefore
- Free(er) trade must be a core Conservative value.
I believe we should trade more or less freely with all comers ~ I don’t think tariffs help to promote human rights anywhere.
I also believe that in some cases free trade agreements ought to go beyond opening markets for and eliminating tariffs on goods and services and should also promote the free exchange of people.
The latter point is something that Dr. Andrew Lilico led me to with his CANZUK proposal and that, in turn led me to an article on YouGov UK that discusses British preferences for a ‘second home.’ Dr Lilico’s ideas also resonated with Erin O’Toole and with many others: Australians, Brits, Canadians and more.
Now, I might be accused of wanting to restore the old, white, Anglosphere … but I’m NOT promoting “nostalgic nationalism” because, while I believe that a comprehensive CANZUK free trade deal that includes relative freedom of movement to study and work, visa free, in those four countries, I believe, even more strongly, that a renewed political Anglosphere must include CANZUK plus India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, at least.
Now, YouGov seems, to me, like a pretty respectable, mainstream, advocacy/opinion group, so I’m inclined to accept its findings that most Britons look more favourably on Canada and New Zealand (I cannot fathom why Australia was not in the mix of countries listed) than they do on their EU neighbours or the United States. I believe it might spur further consideration of a CANZUK deal which is something that Andrew Scheer has, just recently (October 2017), advocated.
We need to be careful …
We understand, fairly well, I think, the pros and (mostly for many people) the cons of free(er) trade. Freedom of movement is a horse of another colour. The modern system of border controls including those for both entry and exit began in Europe during the First World War. The League of Nations formalized the system of border controls in the 1920s … prior to the 20th century it was relatively easy for almost anyone to go almost anywhere for almost any purpose ~ money was the major determinant; the financial ability of, for example, Asians to travel to North America or Europe to live and work meant that migration was rare. Many countries have fairly relaxed entry and exit requirements. Others, including Australia, are very, very strict about who can enter ~ even Americans, Brits and Canadians need visas to visit Australia. Thus, asking the Australians to give Brits and Canadians the same right as they offer ONLY to New Zealanders ~ to enter Australia without first obtaining a visa ~ will be a big deal. They might be willing to do it for two countries, it is unlikely that they would consider relaxing the rules for Indians or Malaysians or even Singaporeans, much less, for example, Filipinos. But a deal that provided young people with global opportunities to visit, study and work in three other friendly familiar countries will be politically popular with those same young people ~ the very same young, hip, urban voters that the Conservative Party of Canada needs to attract or, at least, to pry away from the Trudeau Liberals.