A ‘free mobility labour zone’ between Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada has strong support, a new poll shows.
A survey commissioned by the Royal Commonwealth Society in London and released this week found that 70% of Australians, 82% Kiwis, 58% of Brits and 75% of Canadians are in support of reciprocal open borders between the nations when it comes to living and working in them.
“This polling is invaluable as it shows the view and wishes of these fellow Commonwealth friends in strong support for closer ties,” Commonwealth Society President, Lord Howell said of the report.
The concept has been muted in London expat circles recent years and vigorously supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
It is juxtaposed against the reality of the UK’s ever tightening immigration rules which has seen a steady decrease in the number of working visas issued to non-EU nationals, including Australians, in recent years.
The current so-called ‘Brexit’ debate and upcoming referendum has shone new light on the proposal. If the UK were to exit the EU, it would no longer be bound by the EU’s free labour movement laws. The government might, in theory, be more open and flexible toward migration from non-EU countries, such as the Commonwealth nations, while being able to contain the overall immigration rate by limiting new-comers from the EU.
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