Canada House is the site of Canada's High Commission in London. Should Canada and the U.K. share their embassies elsewhere? (CBC)British Foreign Secretary William Hague told CBC News, "as the Prime Minister [David Cameron] said when addressing the Canadian parliament last year: 'We are two nations, but under one Queen and united by one set of values.'"
A senior government official in Canada said the agreement is the kind of "out-of-the-box thinking that modern diplomacy requires."
Canada already shares some services with Australia. Gar Pardy, a former head of Canadian consular services, said Canada has already been providing services to Australia in 26 locations around the world, and vice-versa, for years.
Critics say sharing embassies could result in a loss of independence and stature for Canada on the world stage.
"I think it has a lot to do with the fact that this government is cutting severely on diplomacy, and its priorities on diplomacy and multilateral institutions has waned," said NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar.
"To me this is penny wise, pound foolish diplomacy, both literally and figuratively. This is the very moment when we should be investing in our diplomacy," said Fen Hampson of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
In our comments, the CBC Community was divided on the move.
- "I actually don't mind this, though to be fair, I am both a Brit and a Canadian. In all honesty though, it's a partnership between two countries who have a VERY long and intertwined past, and it's nice to see us doing something with the U.K., rather than just the U.S.," said Benjasi.
- "We do have one queen, but we do not stand shoulder to shoulder. Iraq is one glaring example. Our international approaches and objectives are not always the same; the Suez Crisis was an example. Our trade policies are not always in harmony. Britain is a member of the EU; we are still trying to arrange fair trade policies (the seal hunt being a good example). First cousins we may be, but there are reasons they can't marry," said Taliesar.
Is it a good idea for Canada and the U.K. to share consular and diplomatic services in other countries? Let us know what you think.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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