Call for Commonwealth freedom of movement

27 Sep 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas
A group set up to represent people in Commonwealth countries is calling for freedom of movement between them.
 
The Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation is lobbying on behalf of people from Australia, Canada and New Zealand to come to Britain to live and work without a UK visa. Under its plans, people in all four countries would have the same rights to live and work in each country.
 
The proposals, put forward by the group’s founder James Skinner, would be similar to the freedom to move and work rights that EU citizens currently have. However, he claimed that because each nation was well-developed, there would not be the same pressure on services that had been seen as a result of EU migration.
 
He said: “We would not see such migration patterns as all countries involved are similarly developed with exceptional qualities of life.”
 
So far more than 160,000 people have signed a petition in favour of the plans. According to the Daily Mail, people in each of the four countries also support the idea of free movement between them. It pointed to a YouGov poll carried out earlier this year, which found that 58 per cent of Brits. 82 per cent of Kiwis, 75 per cent of Canadians and 70 per cent of Australians were in favour of free movement between the countries.
 
Mr Skinner called the idea a “no brainer” due to the cultural and historical ties between the four countries.
 

As the UK negotiates new trade deals after it formally leave the European Union, the subject of freedom of movement of people will be a key bargaining chip. The EU is unlikely to grant the UK access to the free market without a guarantee of freedom of movement.