Post Brexit, lobby group reiterates need for free movement across UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand

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Royal family in Canada
Britain's Prince William (R), and Catherine (2nd R), Duchess of Cambridge, pose for a photo with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (2nd L) and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau at the start of a meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, September 24, 2016. Reuters/Chris Wattie

After citizens of the United Kingdom have decided to leave the European Union, a long-running proposal to implement freedom of movement among citizens of Commonwealth countries is gaining support online.

Lobby group Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation (CFMO) has so far gathered at least 164,000 signatures on its Change.org petition advocating for legislation promoting freedom of movement among Brits, Canadians, Australians and Kiwis two years ago.

The CFMO argues that since the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand share the same head of state, common-law legal system, western culture and language, “it is therefore unreasonable for each to not share the same economic, political and cultural benefits that a free movement policy would bring.”

If approved, the union of Commonwealth nations will be the world’s fourth largest economy, according to Vancouver-based CFMO founder James Skinner said in a statement.

“Before the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973, we shared our borders with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and each citizen of these nations was free to live and work in the UK (and vice-versa).

“Our countries harmoniously cooperated with a mutual understanding that all of our citizens were welcome, and in return we reaped the economic and social benefits of open borders and reciprocal rights to ‘indefinitely remain.’ Post-Brexit, we have the chance to reap those benefits once more.”

Skinner claimed that CFMO’s campaign has the backing of politicians and diplomats across the world before and after the UK’s referendum three months ago.

“A recent international poll found that 70 percent of Australians, 75 percent of Canadians and 82 percent of New Zealanders would embrace a free movement initiative between our nations, all the while retaining our sovereignty and independence which the European Union could not afford us,” Skinner added.

 One of the petition’s supporters, Luke Jones from the UK, said “it’s about bloody time this happens,” apparently referring to the union of Commonwealth nations.

David Myers from Canada agreed, arguing that “one Queen, one system” should be implemented following UK's Brexit.

Once CFMO generates enough signatures, the petition will be forwarded to the parliaments of UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.