UK and Australia commit to new free trade agreement

The UK and Australia will today agree to begin trade negotiations as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU on 31 October.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is in Canberra, Australia, today where she will meet with senior politicians including Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.

Speaking ahead of the visit in Canberra today, the International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “It’s great to be in Australia this week as you are one of our highest priorities for a post-Brexit trade deal. And with good reason – trade between our two countries was worth £16.6bn in the year to March 2019, and we have more than £46bn invested in each others economies.

“Now, for the first time in nearly half a century, we are taking back control of our trade policy. I want to see an ambitious trade deal which reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers for UK exporters. But we cannot afford to wait. Britain is going to be ready to trade after Brexit. That’s why I’m so pleased that today we are reaffirming our commitment to launch bilateral free trade agreement negotiations as soon as possible.

“It’s good to see that Australia is going to quick off the mark and it’ll be mirrored by the UK under our new government – a government that takes action. A UK-Australia trade deal won’t just be a good thing – it’ll be a great thing, for our businesses, for our consumers, for our workers and for our two great countries.”

The UK is one of Australia’s largest trading partners and our trading relationship was worth £16.6bn in the twelve months to March 2019.

Around 15,000 UK businesses export their goods to Australia.