Australia’s conservative coalition government wants to strike a free trade deal with the UK as soon as possible in the wake of last week’s election result that puts Britain on a path to leave the European Union early next year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to his victorious British counterpart Boris Johnson on Saturday night and discussed moving to a trade deal sooner rather than later.
“We want to make sure that any new trade deal is good for Australia and good for Australian workers,” he told Sky News on Sunday
“But really, the sooner .. we can get a new relationship with the UK post-Brexit the better.”
The two countries signed a new bilateral Wine Agreement and Mutual Recognition Agreement in January designed to help ease the continued flow of post-Brexit trade between Australia and the UK.
Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham told the Sydney Morning Herald these agreements would ensure arrangements already in place between Australia and the European Union for wine and other exports continued to apply for Britain in a post-Brexit world.
“This will mean Australian exporters can continue to benefit from existing arrangements for mutual recognition as they do currently, even if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement,” Birmingham said.
Last year Australia indicated it wanted to begin negotiating a new trade deal with the UK on “day one” of Brexit and put it into effect on January 1, 2021, as Breitbart News reported.
Australia’s then Trade Minister Steve Ciobo gave that assurance during a speech delivered in London as he called for Britain to start formal trade talks with Australia immediately.
Ciabo paid tribute to the enduring bonds between Australia and the UK while applauding the fact that Brexit would enable the UK to do business as a “sovereign, open and free” nation.
He also observed Australia sought to play a big role in the UK’s economic world as Brexit opens up global free trade opportunities.
To that end, Ciobo committed Australia to joining Britain in helping developing nations, particularly those in Southeast Asia, construct infrastructure and flourish.
“So bring on prosperous, free-trading, global Britain,” he said.