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Thoughts on a 'CANZUK' Union post-Brexit

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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Canada is in NAFTA. Australia is more interested in China. Nobody cares about the UK any more - these countries have moved on - that's what the general feeling has been in the press since Brexit.
    An opportunity really, if there was the political will.

    In any case the GDP of these nations combined is only one-third that of the EU, and we have very little trade with them compared to the EU, although of course that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    A fair point.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Canada is in NAFTA. Australia is more interested in China. Nobody cares about the UK any more - these countries have moved on - that's what the general feeling has been in the press since Brexit.

    In any case the GDP of these nations combined is only one-third that of the EU, and we have very little trade with them compared to the EU, although of course that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    The advantage of a Commonwealth Union is that it could achieve what the EU wants to achieve over a century - full political union - in a short time. A Commonwealth Union could be not just an economic but a military power; for the forseeable future at least it would be much more of a military power than rEU. Obviously Australia does not want political and military union with the PRC and very likely never will.

    The EU is not about trade and a Commonwealth Union wouldn't be about trade.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The advantage of a Commonwealth Union is that it could achieve what the EU wants to achieve over a century - full political union - in a short time. A Commonwealth Union could be not just an economic but a military power; for the forseeable future at least it would be much more of a military power than rEU. Obviously Australia does not want political and military union with the PRC and very likely never will.

    The EU is not about trade and a Commonwealth Union wouldn't be about trade.
    Although a Commonwealth Union would be about trade or would hide otherwise much better than the EU. In the non EU bits there is no appetite to go back to the empire days, that much is clear just in the political classes, and there is unlikely appetite for such a Union in the UK. People either wouldn't want more than trade unless empire, or would want it to be no more than trade because of empire.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Although a Commonwealth Union would be about trade or would hide otherwise much better than the EU. In the non EU bits there is no appetite to go back to the empire days, that much is clear just in the political classes, and there is unlikely appetite for such a Union in the UK. People either wouldn't want more than trade unless empire, or would want it to be no more than trade because of empire.

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    If those countries are interested in trading together they will not form a union to do it, they will simply remove barriers on one anothers' imports unilaterally or by a more simple and narrow treaty.

    If a union happens at all, it will be political and military. Right now, you are right that there's no appetite for it. That is because all these countries outsource their defence and foreign policy to the United States. Right now, that's actually a pretty good deal. It might not remain a good deal.

    If it happens I do not expect it will happen slowly and furtively, but quickly and with some panic. It might well happen in practice many years before it is officially acknowledged to have happened, like the initial breakup of the British Empire during WWII.
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    (Original post by Gorillion)
    BEADY
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Yeah, I'm pleased people don't think I'm overtly hostile here. I think there are just a number of barriers and I want to avoid the wha's like us? neo-imperialism that I know is somethings reasonably popular on TSR.

    Someone mentioned America. I'll be clear: I consider the CANZ nations far more reliable allies than the US. It seems with the Americans, our relationship is more or less based on the whims and prejudices of each president. The EU, united, could rival the US. Could CANZUK? It's probably still too small.
    The EU cannot rival the US because it does not genuinely have common goals, and thus no will to pursue them, because it is not a nation. I realise that such ideas have become desperately unfashionable but "wha's like us" is actually important, not just emotionally, but for practical matters too.

    For whether the Commonwealth Union could rival the US, that depends what you mean by rival. It could not match a US army man for man but that is probably not a relevant metric. It could maintain a fully domestic nuclear weapon industry and provision all internal industries with its own resources, which would make it as independent of the US as Russia or the PRC are today.

    The real question is whether being independent of the US has value. Right now, I think the answer is no. There is not a significant difference between US goals and our goals. If the US shifts to either the far left or the far right, I suspect the answer could become yes very quickly, and the US looks very much more polarised than any of the white Commonwealth countries.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Interested as to why the EU is not your second choice rather than first.
    A United States of Europe would be more powerful than Canzuk and also better placed geopolitically to tackle Islamism.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Last I checked the closest we got to controlling European states was when we were saving them from themselves bit ultimately they were always going a different way. On the other hand the likes of Australia, NZ, Canada, the US to a lesser extent, etc were practically made by the UK, it's pretty clear to see. We have close ties with many of the major former imperial possessions having never broken them in tje first place, they all use common law rather than Napoleonic war, most of their law isn't just in line with our own but downright copied and slightly amended, they all speak English, the ones being talked about are all economically strong, unlike half the EU, so the economies and work forces are aligned with each other, and as we are seeing right now, the sports the UK dominate are also strong for CANZ.

    The relationship we have with the better off former colonies cannot be compared to the one with Europe, very little beyond geography and history of war ties us strongly to any of Europe, even the closer parts; the entire history of CANZ ties us incredibly closely. If it weren't for accents and climate, purely based on culture, sports, government and the judiciary CANZUK is barely distinguishable, Uk vs EU is clear cut.

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    This is that attitude that will see us kicked into the long grass. That we should somehow be able to"control" Europe but can't so we'll leave. But because we created Canada and Australia we will somehow rule over them to our own advantage.

    You really need to accept that the days of Empire are long gone and the attitude of rose tinted glasses will get us no where. I can guarantee that Auss and Canada will drive a hard bargin just as the EU do.
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    While I certainly think we should endeavour to get free trade deals with Canada, Australia & New Zealand, I don't think entering a political union with any of them is a great idea.
    As others have said in here, part of the reason we left the EU was due to having less control over our own legislation. A union like this could once again cause an issue, perhaps more so in those other countries if we're seen to be the dominant partner.
    I also think geography plays a part - unfortunately Australia and New Zealand are on the opposite side of the globe while Canada isn't particular close either.

    If the EU does break up, we could see bands of nations create their own unions. A freer, far less restrictive economic union between the UK, France & Germany I could support in theory. For me the EU tried to be too deep & too broad at the same time (amongst other reasons).
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    (Original post by L i b)
    It's hardly a new idea. Closer co-operation with the "white Commonwealth" as it was so horrendously tagged has long been suggested. However in that term is one of the issues: there's an unspoken ethnic angle to this that's pretty undesirable. Free movement seems a particularly galling part of it - "we'll take unlimited immigration of Canadians, but not Slavs".
    If there are two reasons someone could be suggesting something and one of those reasons really offends you, the person meant the other one.

    All of those nations are economically similar. All of those nations have similar cultural ideals and backgrounds(Compared to... Say... Romania vs Germany vs England, as an example of white-majority nations with very dissimilar cultures.). Each of those nations brings something to the table, whether it be the banking prowess of England, the natural resources of Australia or the easy access to the Asian market/natural resources of New Zealand/Australia.

    I am cautiously optimistic about this sort of partnership. If we could include the United States, I feel we would have a truly winning partnership - I think that day is far away, however.

    At least we wouldn't have to worry about the UK complaining it's not being heard, then being told "We accepted your complaints about the legislation on hairdresser heel heights. See how reasonable we are?", because of cultural similarities on what is important vs what is not.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    A United States of Europe would be more powerful than Canzuk and also better placed geopolitically to tackle Islamism.
    I'd like to agree but the attitude of the likes of Germany and Sweden suggests they'd just roll over out of some kind of guilt.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    It's hardly a new idea. Closer co-operation with the "white Commonwealth" as it was so horrendously tagged has long been suggested. However in that term is one of the issues: there's an unspoken ethnic angle to this that's pretty undesirable. Free movement seems a particularly galling part of it - "we'll take unlimited immigration of Canadians, but not Slavs".

    On the plus side, at least the countries are economically similar, have a common language and similar political systems (although I suspect the differences would become increasingly apparent). While I can see the suggestion it's not just another British Empire, there would still be that perception no matter how you cut it - and I suspect it would further alienate certain people, like the French Canadians. What would the rest of the Commonwealth make of it?

    But of course the obvious question is why we would want to form a trading block with three other countries, with half of the population and GDP of those partners located - literally - on the other side of the world.

    EDIT: On a frivolous note, wouldn't somewhere like Vancouver - in the middle - be a better capital than somewhere in New Zealand?
    I'm not sure that's true to be honest; I may just have not come across it, but I don't think you tend to find much - if any - hostility towards Slavic people in Britain these days. And you could just as easily frame free movement within the EU the same; 'we'll take unlimited immigration of Europeans, but not Africans' or some such. I'd suggest that one of the larger advantages of free movement within a so-called CANZUK union, as compared to the EU, is that there is no reason to suppose there will be any significant net migration from one member to another. We're all more or less on a level playing field when it comes to job opportunities, healthcare and various other measures of quality of life, in stark contrast to the state of affairs in the EU.

    I also don't think it's wrong for us to be more comfortable with these kind of unions, when they're formed with people more like ourselves. It's pretty much just an extension of national identity. We identify with other British people by virtue of our shared culture, heritage etc, much like any other nationality does. Therefore, it seems pretty reasonable that we would prefer economic/political union with other nationalities that also share our culture, heritage etc. On a more practical note, we're seeing across Europe the dangers of taking in people with significantly different cultures and principles; the self-imposed segregation which can become a breeding ground for extremism and the blatant flouting of the laws we impose because they are contrary to what these people believe in.

    I also wouldn't in principle have a problem with other members of the Commonwealth joining, but only if it was to benefit of the union to have them join. The idea of these unions should be that they are to the benefit of all members and all members profit from any expansion; they should not be some 'Robin Hood'-esque form of charity.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    A United States of Europe would be more powerful than Canzuk and also better placed geopolitically to tackle Islamism.
    It would be more powerful in a video game world where population and money are just numbers on a screen.

    The EU is not capable of forming coherent policy or acting decisively to implement policy, because it is not a nation. It does not have the ability to harness the resources it possesses on paper and use them to achieve tangible goals. Currently the EU is being kicked around by Turkey, a country with a bit over 10% as many people and less than 5% the GDP but a united nation and a decisive leadership.

    CANZUK more or less already is a nation. It is hard to imagine any war that three of those would fight and one would refuse to fight. It is hard to imagine any of those countries being attacked and any of the others not supporting it. It may be that in the near future CANZUK is more of a nation than the USA is.

    As for Islamism, it's an immigration problem, not a military problem, so being placed with a massive border with the Islamic world that you refuse to defend is not good placement, it's awful placement.
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    Rakas21 Observatory


    Mrs Merkels Reign of error is drawing to a close. Whoever her successor is will perhaps shape the fate of the EU. If France doesn't draw a more hardline position then the EU will finish , and rightly so. As if is, I think the future is uncertain.

    The turkey thing is a farce designed to save face for Merkel. The EU isn't the issue its the lack of political will- look at how Israel and the Saudis get bankrolled by the U.S.

    The problem with the west is a combination of laziness, relativism and greed. This is outside and inside the EU, and I think we'd be better off fighting to protect our (in my view universal) values together.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    Rakas21 Observatory


    Mrs Merkels Reign of error is drawing to a close. Whoever her successor is will perhaps shape the fate of the EU. If France doesn't draw a more hardline position then the EU will finish , and rightly so. As if is, I think the future is uncertain.

    The turkey thing is a farce designed to save face for Merkel. The EU isn't the issue its the lack of political will- look at how Israel and the Saudis get bankrolled by the U.S.

    The problem with the west is a combination of laziness, relativism and greed. This is outside and inside the EU, and I think we'd be better off fighting to protect our (in my view universal) values together.
    Merkel still polls about 10% ahead and the Social Democrats are even more willing to destroy what Germany is so i'm not so sure about that. While i suspect that the EU is going to lose a few members over the next decade i think that a more unified Euro-zone will emerge, although with more relative power for Germany and such a lack of regard for Europe's ethno-cultural background, i'm not sure that's a good thing.

    Who'd have thought i'd be saying that 5 years ago. I was praising Merkel for taking the hard line on the basket cases.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    Rakas21 Observatory


    Mrs Merkels Reign of error is drawing to a close. Whoever her successor is will perhaps shape the fate of the EU. If France doesn't draw a more hardline position then the EU will finish , and rightly so. As if is, I think the future is uncertain.
    Merkel is just a symptom. Getting rid of Merkel (and she looks likely to win the 2017 election for what it's worth, albeit in a greatly weakened state) does not fix the basic problem that it is even possible for a single head of state to totally overturn EU policy. Could Texas or Kent invite in 2 million Russians?

    Whether Merkel's policy was right or wrong is beside the point. She was pursuing a German policy for German reasons and pulling along the EU by presenting it with a fait accompli. In doing so she managed to completely sideline the EU because the EU was not able to formulate or enact any policy of its own.

    This is always going to be the case in the EU. You cannot sideline and disempower the states because the states represent nations that would not accept being sidelined in that way. Nations that have very different views on many important matters.

    Canada, Australia and the UK are also nations but maybe no more than England and Wales are nations. They are subtly different flavours but agree on almost everything of importance.
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    Rakas21 Observatory


    The future is uncertain- all of us thought we would vote to stay in the EU. Whilst it remains possible to change (in my eyes) I will support the EU, and if it fails hopefully it will be for the best.

    I cannot see merkel surviving running on a pro refugee platform. I think and hope that slowly Germany is shedding its guilt complex and a new younger generation of politicians will reflect that. Julia Klockner has been touted as a successor to Merkel and advocates banning the burqa and having an active foreign policy.

    As I say, we cannot judge the EU as it acts now as it has no real hard power. I suppose I'm in the same position as a monarchist in that I think the institution has potential just not as it is.
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    The EU needs to form a much stronger federal government and some sort of national sense, ideally one that extends beyond the middle class (I am not sure how that is going to work as there is an aptitude level below which people will/can not learn a second language). I think that is the project of at least 50 years and perhaps several centuries and I am not convinced that the structure itself is stable enough to survive that long.

    CANZUK is to all intents and purposes already a nation. It was broken up by the US during WWII for realpolitik reasons and it will remain broken up so long as the US is seen as a strong and friendly protector and power-broker but no longer than that. It is perhaps less likely than not but I would not be wholly surprised to see the recombination of the white settler part of the British Empire, perhaps including South Africa and Singapore, in this century.
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    CANZUK would be overwhelmingly controlled by the UK though, so why on Earth would Canada, Australia and New Zealand agree to it?

    They could easily argue against CANZUK using the same arguements people had against the EU.
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    Sorry why is Australia being excluded from this? Is there a reason why? Also this could potentially include India.
 
 
 
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