Closed petition Establish free movement & trade agreements with Canada, Australia & New Zealand

As the UK concludes its transition period with the EU, the government should seek new diplomatic arrangements with Canada, Australia & New Zealand (CANZUK), formulating reciprocal migration & trade agreements between these countries to improve work and travel opportunities for citizens.

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Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the United Kingdom (CANZUK) are four of the closest and most like-minded nations in the world. Together, we share the same Sovereign, linguistic, cultural & historical ties, and are formidable allies in promoting democracy & human rights across the world.
By expanding our relationship to develop free trade & reciprocal living and working rights for our citizens, CANZUK will become an alliance that promotes opportunity & prosperity in the post-Brexit era.

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Government responded

This response was given on 21 December 2020

The UK is ending free movement for EU citizens (at 11pm 31 December 2020). The government has no plans to seek equivalent arrangements with CANZUK.

Read the response in full

On 1 December 2020 the UK’s new Points-Based Immigration System opened for applications for those who want to come to work in the UK from 01 January 2021. This includes applications for the new Skilled Worker route, which will see EU and non-EU citizens treated equally.

The new points-based system, alongside initiatives for scientists, researchers, health and care professional and graduates, will attract the brightest and best talent from across the world and signals Britain is open for business.

The Government has published details in ‘The UK’s points-based immigration system: policy statement’ which is available here:

The Government shares CANZUK International’s ambition to maximise the UK’s trade and investment relationship with our close friends and allies. Our strategy, however, is to do so through bilateral and regional agreements. Now that we have left the European Union, we are able to negotiate comprehensive free trade deals with other nations and have already begun negotiations for free trade agreements with the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Whilst we cannot go into detail on live negotiations, it is normal practice to include provisions in FTAs on business mobility as these support highly skilled professionals to provide services on a temporary basis in the other country. High-skilled, business mobility is critical to supporting trade in services, investment and goods.

The Government has also now signed with the Government of Canada the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement. This agreement replicates as far as possible the effects of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), including provisions on mobility, and provides a clear path to agreeing a more ambitious agreement with Canada in the next couple of years.

Furthermore, in early 2021 the UK will apply for accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand

Department for International Trade

Share your views on how the free trade agreement with New Zealand might affect UK business with MPs

MPs on the International Trade Committee are conducting an inquiry into how the free trade agreement with New Zealand will affect UK businesses – from agri-food, to manufacturing and services – and want to hear your views.

If you are the owner or employee of a business, or a member of a representative body like the Federation of Small Businesses, share your views by taking this short survey:

If you do not fall into one of these categories but would like to submit evidence, you can do so here:

Please share your views by 11.45pm on Sunday 3 April.

What happens next?

Your responses will help inform the Committee's inquiry on the UK-New Zealand free trade agreement and might help to shape the Committee’s final report, which will be presented to the Government.

What is the International Trade Committee? 

The International Trade Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that was formed in 2016 to look into the spending, administration and policy of the Department for International Trade, and other associated public bodies. It is appointed by the House of Commons, and is currently chaired by Angus Brendan MacNeil MP (Scottish National Party).

Find out more about the Committee:

Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on its work: