Why Canada, Australia and New Zealand should join the European Union.

Europe: not as much a place as a way of life.

Europe: not as much a place as a way of life.

Written three years ago. For some reason, this is one of my most popular posts. Have no idea why.

As debate currently rages (why do debates always rage, and never, say, saunter?)  over Britain’s future in the EU, some UK eurosceptics are quick to point to the Commonwealth as a potential alternative. This got me thinking: never mind the Brits, why are we in the EU not trying to get Australia, New Zealand and Canada to join up? Now, before you go off shouting, hear me out.

There are good reasons:

1. Firstly, it’s true, None of them are actually in Europe. Meh. A minor detail at best. French Guyana is in the EU, and it’s not even in the same hemisphere. That’s the thing about Europeans: we’re very bendy. All three have European histories, and large sections of their population have direct links to the Old Continent. So we might have to change the name from the European Union to, say, the Democratic Union. Big deal.

2. Their head of state is half-German (and lives in Europe), and her husband is Greek. Australia’s prime minister was actually born in England. The previous one but one was Welsh. Seriously? They’re probably entitled to an EU passport already.

3. Admittedly, it would mean being in a political union with France, who exploded the odd atomic bomb near two of them. But the Brits exploded them IN Australia, and they were forgiven. And don’t say the Brits didn’t know what they were doing at the time. They didn’t explode them in Scotland, and hardly anyone lives there. Anyway, it’s not like Canada has no experience in dealing with stroppy French people anyway. Might even calm Quebec down.

4. Every single Aussie, Kiwi and Canadian would be entitled to live, work, study and vote in the EU. No visas, no nothing. They’d also get free emergency healthcare, and of course, tariff free access to the single European market and the upcoming EU-US free trade area. Europe would get access to Canada’s oil, Australia’s uranium, and New Zealand’s dwarves.

5. Australia and Canada would be the seventh largest countries of the 27 countries of the EU. They’d be big cheeses. New Zealand would be like Ireland without kiddie fiddling priests and banker-terrorists.

6. They wouldn’t be negotiating with the Chinese, a couple of million to one billion, but over 500 million to one billion. And with the US one-to-one. When George Bush threatened to put a tariff on European steel before the 2004 election, the EU threatened a tariff on Florida oranges. He backed down. That’s what having a single market of 500 million gets you.

7. All three share our values on everything from gun control to the death penalty to gay rights to social healthcare to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, stability, and a solid economy. And they are not run by people who are mad. Or at least no more mad than our ones.

8. Every fourteen years, they’d get to run the whole of Europe for six months. Including Britain. Assuming they stay.

9. They’d be entitled to a European commissioner, seats on the European Council of Ministers and the European Court, and about 80 seats in the European Parliament between them. Think about that: they could make 80 of their pols live in Belgium for months at a time. Offer that up front and they start drawing up the list in their heads.

10. No reason why an Australian, Canadian or Kiwi could not end up as President of Europe. After all, Canada has cultural and liguistic links with Ireland, the UK, France and Belgium. Australia and New Zealand with Ireland and the UK. And here’s the thing: no natural enemies. Europe is full of countries with grudges going back years: No one has a grudge against Canada, New Zealand or Australia, which makes them ideal for appointment to the top jobs.

11. Finally, and this is the best reason of all: imagine the fury amongst British eurosceptics if the three started negotiating to join, against the wishes of their betters.

Is it plausible? Who knows? I’m just saying, don’t be too hasty. At least have a browse through the brochure.

18 thoughts on “Why Canada, Australia and New Zealand should join the European Union.

  1. As a Canadian, I’ve always wondered about this. There are definite benefits to being part of a larger economic zone.

    Canada right now is far too reliant on the US 70%-85% of everything we produce goes to the US. This makes it hard for Canada to go against US wishes. We wanted to legalize pot for quite sometime, but the US might thicken the boarder so we can’t just do it. Also, because Canada is 1/10 of the US, the US can cheat on its trade agreements. Even when the WTO said the US was in the wrong, the US didn’t care. It would also curb US influence on Canadian culture.

    I love to be able to travel, work, and live in EU countries for a little while, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I also think Canada would be a popular destination for people wanting to emigrate out of Europe. We actually need more people. I love the many cultures and ethnicity that make up Canada, but integrating people from developing nations in large number is a problem (I’m an ethnic minority in Canada, so I’m not being racist). One we wouldn’t have with European migrants.

    I’m not too sure about both Canada and Australia joining. We both have extremely similar economies: Oil, minerals, metals, wheat, uranium, and other natural resources. Right now Canada and Australia cater to different markets: USA and Asia respectively. So we don’t really compete with one another, but that would change if we were both EU members.

    As someone mention: All countries are in for a massive down grade. China has a population of 1.4 Billion, India 1.3 Billion (soon to surpass china), USA 315 million, and Latin America (which everyone forgets about) is trying to Unify. That is a population between 300-630 million people (depending on who you include). Not to mention other Asian countries that have population in the 100 millions. Countries that were once Super Powers will be down graded to Medium Power. Canada, a medium power, would be relegated to what the Netherlands is now.

  2. This article is thought provoking for me as an Australian. Instant access to a single market of 550 million people of the EU with similar purchasing power,similar business and employment rules and regulations, similar education standards, similar legal structures, a vast manufacturing base that is definitely a market for our vast reserves of iron ore,uranium,coal,Gas,Food,technology etc., Increased Access to already substantial capital investment and a well trained and educated source of labour. It needs a good hard look at in my opinion.

  3. Im australian and this is a great idea, canberra needs less power over austrlaia and literally everyone i know here is at least part European in heritage

  4. As a UK citisen (I’m from Scotland) I really hope we do not leave the EU. We should be helping to strengthen its political, economic and perhaps even its military power base. Work together for the benefit of us all.
    In this particular climate, with large, established and emerging, world economies like China, India and the US (and hopefully the eventual industialisation of the African continent) being apart of a some form of political union will be very important for the smaller nations of the world.
    Even though this would only increase the Union’s population by 60 odd million I imagine political influence would go through the roof… also it would look very impressive on a map.

    Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are lovely (and appropriate) counties and – assuming they wished to and it was beneficial for them – would be more than welcome to join as far as I’m concerned.

  5. I would like to see this happen . I believe this could be good for EU and Canada . Are history is based off EU . I cant speak for everyone in Canada . But I would love to have a closer connection with the EU.

  6. These are a good lots of confused independent views that can not be tenable in either scholastic discourse or policy making decisions. You guys should think more logically and not sceptically.

  7. No this is a rally BAD idea! I also really Wonder what The would do when The EU starts to ram their absolute rudiculous immigration policys down the throat of the aussies, kiwi and The canucks.

    No, There are other and better ways to cooperate than through the EU membership.

  8. I agree with Tom. Aus, Can and NZ would be a union that will definitely work very well. The whole EU one could be shaky. As much as I like the idea. I can’t see the Reserve Bank wanting to adopt the Euro for example, despite it being EU policy that all new members adopt the Euro now. Basically there is too much red tape in the EU for it to ever work comfortably, as great as the idea may be.

    A Can, Aus and NZ union on the other-hand is at least more realistic. All nations are already very similar and have almost identical governmental structures and so forth. Integration will be far easier. And just imagine what those 3 combined will be. They’ll have a population of 62.76 million, a nominal GDP of 3.57 trillion USD (making it the approx. the 5 highest in the world), in terms of land it’ll be the second largest country in the world , it’ll have the largest uranium reserves in the world, 2nd largest gold producer, 4th largest silver producer,4th largest platinum producer, 2nd largest iron ore producer, 3rd largest proven oil reserves and 5th largest producer, 6th largest beef producer, 5th largest milk producer and….. I could go on, but can’t be bothered. Basically it’ll be a kickass union.

  9. Not so sure about this. As a Canadian, I can see a union with Australia and New Zealand. We have very much in common being relatively under-populated and resource rich countries that share a common language, political/legal system and roots. Size does matter in the global economy and I suspect that on the current path all three are becoming less relevant and likely to be manipulated to a greater degree by larger players. All that is needed is the will to make it happen.

  10. Firstly, Just a little error in the article, Australia’s current Prime Minister, Tony Abbot was Born in London, England (and also studied at oxford). Australis previous prime minster was born in wales.

    Secondly HELL YES! if only for the lol’s of Australia ‘ruling’ over the UK when we have our turn at UE presidency. I mean, c’mon, think about it.

  11. That’s right Chris… because ceding our sovereignty to Brussels is a great idea. Perhaps we could get dragged directly into another major European conflict? You might want to remember a lot of Europeans left after the devastation there in WW1 & 2, I don’t think it is prudent in the current climate to enter such a political union, as attractive as the perks might seem. Canberra may be run by psychopathic right-wing evangelicals, buthopefully they’ll only have one term… (let’s not forget for you Europeans, our population just voted Abbott as PM, you may not want us involved in any decision making process… :)) Perhaps in another century when us anglos are on the verge of extinction, it might be time!

  12. As a Dutch person I would be okay with that! For heaven’s sake, why don’t we even consider this?

    The E.U. is even negotiating with Turkey about membership!? A country with whom we’ve less cultural ties than the countries listed in the article. And that’s just because it’s (partially) geographically located in Europe.

    And like you stated, it would be beneficial to these countries as well. Together we can stand strong against China and the U.S.

  13. I’m and Aussie and I’m up for it! Anything that gives Canberra less power makes me happy.

  14. This made me chuckle. But got to say thinking logically – your not wrong 🙂

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