May’s Last Shot At Redemption?
(Let’s begin with a good old-fashioned character assassination) She bungled the most recent UK election; lost the Conservative party considerable ground in Parliament to the point that they’ll need to partner with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (an organisation that opposes gay marriage, abortion, and anything vaguely progressive) to retain a majority. And she’s prepared to spend £1 billion of public money for the privilege. Her plans for a ‘Hard Brexit’ continue to bear fruit thanks to her appointed representative’s ham-fisted negotiations and glaring inexperience.
Yup, Theresa May is undoubtedly one of the least popular British PMs in recent memory*. But does she have one last card to play that could turn things around? It doesn’t seem likely. And like her own ascent to power, right now it feels like a bit of an outlier. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about politics over the past 12 months, it’s that anything’s possible.
The ship might have sailed on the EU, and while public opinion remains divided on the desired outcomes of Brexit, Theresa May still has an opportunity to champion freedom of movement and trade. There is an alternative that everyone can get behind: the CANZUK Alliance.
Imagine all of the benefits enjoyed by EU membership; but with less political and financial obligations. And instead of Europe, UK citizens are now free to live, work, and trade in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; and their citizens would have the opportunity to hop between these four nations in the same way too. That’s exactly what CANZUK is proposing. And governments are starting to take notice.
Australia and New Zealand’s Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement is already evidence that two nations sharing a common history, culture, and outlook can make this work. Would adding another two upset the apple cart that much? We have similar legal systems, a shared history — heck we even share the same Head of State.
But of course it’s not that simple. Or is it? While there may be some criticism over the joining together of these admittedly very developed nations — along with echoes of Britain’s imperialist past — given the current state of international relations, having closer ties can’t be a bad thing when other global players seem to be — ahem — hell-bent on pursuing a misguided mission powered by personal vendettas.
So if Brexit really must go ahead, I ask you, please, Mrs May (or whoever’s really in charge, because surely one person can’t be held accountable for such cack-handed actions, can they??) to please soften the blow by giving British citizens an alternative path. And if you look closely at the work of the CANZUK Alliance, you’ll soon see that most of the hard work has been done for you.
In the meantime, public support is growing for CANZUK. If you, dear reader, are keen to help push the agenda, please sign the organisation’s petition and follow them on social media.
(And for the record, I’ve not been paid to write this piece).