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Thoughts on a 'CANZUK' Union post-Brexit

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Who said anything about controlling Europe.
    You did. I quote, "Last I checked the closest we got to controlling European states ..."

    As for the picture of Europe you paint. Surely if the EU was as dysfunctional as you seem to suggest we wouldn't have a Euro, we wouldn't have a common market, we wouldn't have a bill of Human Rights and we wouldn't have EU cooperation on more or less every level of society. Sure, there is begrudgement and animosity, but when it comes down to business, compromise is the order of the day. Without compromise, there will be no deals with anyone, Commonwealth the EU or anyone else in the world.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    You did. I quote, "Last I checked the closest we got to controlling European states ..."

    As for the picture of Europe you paint. Surely if the EU was as dysfunctional as you seem to suggest we wouldn't have a Euro, we wouldn't have a common market, we wouldn't have a bill of Human Rights and we wouldn't have EU cooperation on more or less every level of society. Sure, there is begrudgement and animosity, but when it comes down to business, compromise is the order of the day. Without compromise, there will be no deals with anyone, Commonwealth the EU or anyone else in the world.
    So you're saying us, the Germans, and the French are besties, the Greeks aren't constantly wanting more money off the EU to fix a self imposed mess without actually being willing to fix it, that there isn't resentment of Merkel all across the EU, that the eastern Europeans haven't flooded Western Europe? People don't have to want something for the political class to do something, and the political class can easily do things that the people shouldn't support by saying "not doing this will ruin the economy," funnily enough that's exactly how the EU has operated all along. Don't join the ERM? The economy will suffer. Leave the ERM? The economy will suffer. Don't join the Euro? The economy will suffer. Leave? The economy will suffer. IN the case of Norway and Switzerland: don't join? The economy will suffer. In fact, Norway is the prime example of the political class and general population having completely different ideas.

    Oh, and you might want to tell the EU about compromise when their compromise with the threat of brexit is to say "well, we won't blatantly take anything away from you for the next few months."
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    You did. I quote, "Last I checked the closest we got to controlling European states ..."

    As for the picture of Europe you paint. Surely if the EU was as dysfunctional as you seem to suggest we wouldn't have a Euro, we wouldn't have a common market, we wouldn't have a bill of Human Rights and we wouldn't have EU cooperation on more or less every level of society. Sure, there is begrudgement and animosity, but when it comes down to business, compromise is the order of the day. Without compromise, there will be no deals with anyone, Commonwealth the EU or anyone else in the world.
    The problem with those things is not that Europe lacks ambition or good intentions, far from it. The problem is that most of the things you mentioned are incomplete half measures due to vested interests and empty rhetoric along with division.

    Hell, we don't even have a proper single market in services.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    So you're saying us, the Germans, and the French are besties, the Greeks aren't constantly wanting more money off the EU to fix a self imposed mess without actually being willing to fix it,
    I would say there is blame on all sides. The Greek entrance to the Euro was a bit of a Trojan Horse affair.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02wrj9c

    And no. I am not saying the French and Germans are beasties and I don't think the Greeks want more money. In fact I would say a majority of Greeks hate the fact they are constantly having to bow to the whims of the German banks.

    My point though, is whatever you think of doing trade deals with EU, they are no better or worse than any deals we might do with Australia or Canada. They have the ability to drive just as hard a bargain as you perceive the EU to have done. In any free trade deal, there is always a cost to pay.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    The problem with those things is not that Europe lacks ambition or good intentions, far from it. The problem is that most of the things you mentioned are incomplete half measures due to vested interests and empty rhetoric along with division.

    Hell, we don't even have a proper single market in services.
    Of course. Any form of agreement is going to be a compromise. Name me one country in the world that has its cake and eats it. There is no trade agreement that works for one country but not the other(s). That is the point. We are no longer an empire. We can not dictate the rules. If we want something, we must first give something in return. The problem with people saying we want to deal with the EU but on our terms is they don't understand that such a thing is a complete impossibility.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    Of course. Any form of agreement is going to be a compromise. Name me one country in the world that has its cake and eats it. There is no trade agreement that works for one country but not the other(s). That is the point. We are no longer an empire. We can not dictate the rules. If we want something, we must first give something in return. The problem with people saying we want to deal with the EU but on our terms is they don't understand that such a thing is a complete impossibility.
    I think the idea is that it would be easier to deal with 4 nations over 20+ and probably such a union would be developed more openly to the public so there'd be consent to go deep.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I would say there is blame on all sides. The Greek entrance to the Euro was a bit of a Trojan Horse affair.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02wrj9c

    And no. I am not saying the French and Germans are beasties and I don't think the Greeks want more money. In fact I would say a majority of Greeks hate the fact they are constantly having to bow to the whims of the German banks.

    My point though, is whatever you think of doing trade deals with EU, they are no better or worse than any deals we might do with Australia or Canada. They have the ability to drive just as hard a bargain as you perceive the EU to have done. In any free trade deal, there is always a cost to pay.
    There are always costs to pay, with the EU it's that the 27 can't agree and will hold it up on irrelevances and it never happens, with bilateral or small miltilateral it's likely a compromise of some variety.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    There are always costs to pay, with the EU it's that the 27 can't agree and will hold it up on irrelevances and it never happens, with bilateral or small miltilateral it's likely a compromise of some variety.
    That's why they introduced QMV rather than unanimity in many areas but it turns out that's wrong as well ("bawwww other countries can tell Britain what to do")
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    There are always costs to pay, with the EU it's that the 27 can't agree and will hold it up on irrelevances and it never happens, with bilateral or small miltilateral it's likely a compromise of some variety.
    But that just is not true at all. I am sorry, but I am not going to argue the toss over miss-truths. I appreciate that on paper it is easy to surmise that 27 nations can't agree on legislation outcomes, but the reality is that it does happen and very regularly. And the irony - much of the more recent legislation in the EU has been proposed and supported by the UK.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    But that just is not true at all. I am sorry, but I am not going to argue the toss over miss-truths. I appreciate that on paper it is easy to surmise that 27 nations can't agree on legislation outcomes, but the reality is that it does happen and very regularly. And the irony - much of the more recent legislation in the EU has been proposed and supported by the UK.
    I imagine Jammy is referring to bigger things. Common external border policy, eu defense, euro-zone mutualised debt (something they gravely needed in 2010), the half measure that is the structure of the lop sided council>commision>parliament, Turkey.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    Indeed, in some opinion polls that I've seen almost half of the population of CANZUK countries looked upon the others in this group 'particularly favourably'
    They do. But as a dual British-Australian citizen I can tell you there is no interest in Australia in becoming part of a CANZUK union. Australia will be happy to retain current ties and deepen them, including on trade and immigration, but Australians will not give up their constitutional, federal form of government and give up power in a union where they can be outvoted by the representatives of the other countries. There is simply no interest in that

    The UK can offer a more credible nuclear deterrent for Australia than the US currently does, and our militaries would find communication far easier as we share the same language.
    That makes no sense at all. The single SSBN the UK has patrolling at any one time is patrolling the Atlantic, Trident missiles in the Vangard subs don't have the range to hit targets in the south-east or east Asian region. On the other hand, the US' two Ohio-class SSBNs on patrol in the Pacific do. The NATO/Northwoods nuclear targeting staff and software are based on European, not Asian, scenarios. Only the United States has the expertise and the assets to conduct full-spectrum, including nuclear, operations in the Asian region. The idea that the UK has anything to contribute in the way of a nuclear umbrella to Australia that it doesn't already get from America is preposterous and suggests a deep lack of knowledge about Australasian and Asia-Pacific defence issues.

    And what on earth are you talking about re "our militaries would find communication far easier"? Don't you realise that these five countries co-operate on all these issues already? Haven't you heard of Five Eyes, of ABCA, AUSCANNZUKUS naval integration, Air and Space Interoperability Council, the Technical Cooperation Program (defence science and research), the Combined Communications Electronics Board (Anglosphere ELINT/EMCON research and co-operation) and the rest? Don't you realise we already do all of this without a union?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABCA_Armies
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AUSCANNZUKUS
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_an...bility_Council
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Te...ration_Program
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combin...ctronics_Board

    The union would comprise major territory in North America, Europe, and the Australia-NZ trading links could provide us with good access points to the Asian market, particularly China.
    You're right, Australia and New Zealand already have excellent links with the Asian markets, including Free Trade Agreements with China, South Korea, Japan and the United States, so what exactly are you offering Australia that they don't already have?

    Thoughts?
    It's a preposterous, pompous fantasy. As the joint citizen of two Anglosphere countries and a very strong supporter of the US-UK and US-Australian alliances, I want those alliances to be strengthened and deepened. The English-speaking democracies are essentially the closest thing to family that has even existed in the international order; people who we can truly trust, who we know have our back and will never betray us for reasons that go far beyond self-interest. There is a deep, almost spiritual, tie that binds these five countries and I am all in favour of strengthening that.

    But there will be no Anglosphere union; the Americans and the Australians are particularly fierce in defending their sovereignty and have little interest in subjecting their sovereignty to a supranational organisation. And this proposed union gives nothing to Australia that they don't already get from the existing arrangements.

    This idea is a peculiarly and laughably British fantasy that will never happen. Deeper and stronger trading, military, intelligence, cultural and educational ties? Yes. Political and economic union? No, it won't happen in the next hundred years and there's little need for it to happen
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I find it bizarre that we don't like Europeans but are happy with Canadians and Aussies.
    Why is it bizarre? We share the same language, very similar culture and the same cultural roots, a common legal system, great similarities in being economically open and pro-free trade. And I think World War 2 for many of us really is a tie that binds us; for those of us whose grandparents/great-grandparents fought together against the Nazis and the Japanese Empire, there's a sense of joint endeavor we can never have with the Germans, for example.
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    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    there is no reason to suppose there will be any significant net migration from one member to another.
    I think many Australians fear there probably would be a significant net migration from the UK to Australia; the latter is a much more attractive emigration destination, both for immigrants to the UK and existing Brits who want to get away from this country to one they perceive as being more in line with their own prejudices (they will be sadly disappointed by the quite cosmopolitan Australia they find there)
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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".

    To be fair, people are more likely to take a well educated wealthy Canadian, even if they are say of east Asian background over a poor White Slav, you can hardly blame them.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I imagine Jammy is referring to bigger things. Common external border policy, eu defense, euro-zone mutualised debt (something they gravely needed in 2010), the half measure that is the structure of the lop sided council>commision>parliament, Turkey.
    I am sure you are right. But this is only a reflection of politics in action. Not everything gets through. Just look at our own government. We have cancelled a warship, canned our Nimrods (literally), U-turned on the acadamisation of all schools, scrapped National ID cards (far too late IMO). The list goes on. This is not a failure of governance, but a victory for good democracy. The same is true of the EU.

    A common external borders policy has not yet been implemented because it is a very very complicated thing that effects different nations in different ways. I would be rather disturbed if they managed to push through something in a few weeks. Better take the time and get it right than rush into something because it seems like the right thing to do.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    They do. But as a dual British-Australian citizen I can tell you there is no interest in Australia in becoming part of a CANZUK union. Australia will be happy to retain current ties and deepen them, including on trade and immigration, but Australians will not give up their constitutional, federal form of government and give up power in a union where they can be outvoted by the representatives of the other countries. There is simply no interest in that


    Any form of political union would need to be federal itself due to the reasons you've just stated, there's no need to single out Australians not wanting to give up their government as I'm sure the feeling is mutual (just look at the reasons Brits voted to leave the EU for instance). Also note that this was the last thing on my list, the principle objectives were to secure closer economic ties and free(er) movement. I am merely suggested a loose political union as a possible extension of this as an EU alternative, as its a very relevant issue in British politics right now.


    That makes no sense at all. The single SSBN the UK has patrolling at any one time is patrolling the Atlantic, Trident missiles in the Vangard subs don't have the range to hit targets in the south-east or east Asian region. On the other hand, the US' two Ohio-class SSBNs on patrol in the Pacific do. The NATO/Northwoods nuclear targeting staff and software are based on European, not Asian, scenarios. Only the United States has the expertise and the assets to conduct full-spectrum, including nuclear, operations in the Asian region. The idea that the UK has anything to contribute in the way of a nuclear umbrella to Australia that it doesn't already get from America is preposterous and suggests a deep lack of knowledge about Australasian and Asia-Pacific defence issues.


    This relates more to if a political union was pursued, in the sense that CANZUK would actually have a nuclear deterrent of its own as opposed to constantly relying on America. Obviously there are huge technicalities that would need to be overcome, as you have rightly identified, but I'd be willing to hedge my bets that the UK is a more reliable ally (and less self-interested) than the US and the political union would compound this further. Obviously the US has the most adept military in the present, but a combined CANZUK military (which I'll get onto in a second) would enable us to reduce our reliance on the US (although it seems unlikely, if Trump became president he seems to be less inclined to maintain military spending in foreign territory, this could potentially be significant although there's zero chance of a CANZUK union forming in that timescale, if at all).


    And what on earth are you talking about re "our militaries would find communication far easier"? Don't you realise that these five countries co-operate on all these issues already? Haven't you heard of Five Eyes, of ABCA, AUSCANNZUKUS naval integration, Air and Space Interoperability Council, the Technical Cooperation Program (defence science and research), the Combined Communications Electronics Board (Anglosphere ELINT/EMCON research and co-operation) and the rest? Don't you realise we already do all of this without a union?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABCA_Armies
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AUSCANNZUKUS
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_an...bility_Council
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Te...ration_Program
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combin...ctronics_Board


    This was in direct reference to the creation of the 'EU Army', where I was implying military integration for CANZUK in terms of infantry would be far easier due to the shared language. I wasn't referring to cooperation, and indeed I know this already happens at present. Perhaps I could have worded it more clearly but I was in a rush to make sure I didn't forget anything in the OP lol. At any rate, in the event of a political union CANZUK military integration is easier than EU integration. You don't need to act so hostile to these suggestions, it's merely conjecture about what would happen IF this occurred, I am aware that such an eventuality is very unlikely.



    You're right, Australia and New Zealand already have excellent links with the Asian markets, including Free Trade Agreements with China, South Korea, Japan and the United States, so what exactly are you offering Australia that they don't already have?


    Trading links with Europe, London as a financial centre, military strength, and in general the whole concept is a united Anglosphere (bar the USA because it would totally dominate any arrangement). The whole point is that individually each of these countries can only be regional powers, the UK has more potential to be a global power but exiting the EU will diminish this, imo, but together they can be a global force. Obviously we're all content by ourselves, but there are definitely advantages to having a closer relationship (same argument I used in favour of remaining in the EU basically).



    It's a preposterous, pompous fantasy. As the joint citizen of two Anglosphere countries and a very strong supporter of the US-UK and US-Australian alliances, I want those alliances to be strengthened and deepened. The English-speaking democracies are essentially the closest thing to family that has even existed in the international order; people who we can truly trust, who we know have our back and will never betray us for reasons that go far beyond self-interest. There is a deep, almost spiritual, tie that binds these five countries and I am all in favour of strengthening that.

    I agree, although I am more suspicious of America. I think CANZUK is very unlikely, but I equally think it poses benefits to all constituent nations.

    But there will be no Anglosphere union; the Americans and the Australians are particularly fierce in defending their sovereignty and have little interest in subjecting their sovereignty to a supranational organisation. And this proposed union gives nothing to Australia that they don't already get from the existing arrangements.

    I wouldn't want America in the union for the reasons I stated above. I understand the political concerns of CANZUK, which is why I proposed a federation (perhaps even a confederation). I think Australia will have some benefits, as espoused above.

    This idea is a peculiarly and laughably British fantasy that will never happen. Deeper and stronger trading, military, intelligence, cultural and educational ties? Yes. Political and economic union? No, it won't happen in the next hundred years and there's little need for it to happen

    You seem to be relating this to some sort of neo-British Empire which I've strongly ruled out already, any such union would of course be a union of equals but I can understand the imperial connotations of such a move. I agree that it's unlikely to happen, and may not be needed but that doesn't prevent it from being beneficial nonetheless.
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    Call it the 2nd British empire and it should work
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    (Original post by Brahmin of Booty)
    To be fair, people are more likely to take a well educated wealthy Canadian, even if they are say of east Asian background over a poor White Slav, you can hardly blame them.
    Perhaps. I'm slightly more concerned about the differential tolerance for a well-educated Slav and a well-educated Canadian.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    That makes no sense at all. The single SSBN the UK has patrolling at any one time is patrolling the Atlantic, Trident missiles in the Vangard subs don't have the range to hit targets in the south-east or east Asian region. On the other hand, the US' two Ohio-class SSBNs on patrol in the Pacific do. The NATO/Northwoods nuclear targeting staff and software are based on European, not Asian, scenarios. Only the United States has the expertise and the assets to conduct full-spectrum, including nuclear, operations in the Asian region. The idea that the UK has anything to contribute in the way of a nuclear umbrella to Australia that it doesn't already get from America is preposterous and suggests a deep lack of knowledge about Australasian and Asia-Pacific defence issues.
    I agree with your analysis, which shows that Australia's current policy makes sense in current circumstances.

    What do you think will happen if the USA ceases to be a reliable partner for Australia? What for instance if it elects Donald Trump and explicitly removes any guarantee of protection from Australia?
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Perhaps. I'm slightly more concerned about the differential tolerance for a well-educated Slav and a well-educated Canadian.
    The Slav is more likely to be either a communist or a nazi.

    I know some very well educated Slavs who are personally extremely pleasant but describe themselves as communists. I do not want a large voting bloc of communist Slavs developing in the United Kingdom. It would be preferable (though still not good) to have a large voting bloc of working class Canadians.

    Again, "wha's like us" matters. If people don't think the same way, it's hard to make any coherent policy. And whatever policy is made, as some such has to be some way or another, is going to act to break the polity apart. See the European Union.
 
 
 
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