Australia Ready To Agree UK Trade Deal On ‘Brexit Day One’
Australia’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has this week said that his government will be ready to begin working on a trade deal with Britain immediately after Brexit, with the deal “ready to go on the first of January 2021”, when the UK’s transition from the EU will have ended.
Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, also supports the deal and is working with Australia to prepare for the negotiations.
Ciobo warned “the path of free and fair trade is strenuous” but that the outcome is the “proven path to prosperity and good governance”.
“Protectionism destroys wealth and it slows economic growth.
“We want to see the UK government succeed in its ambition to be a global champion for free trade… a vigorous free-trading Britain that backs its principles with action will be an important influence in Washington too.
“We should commence formal negotiations on the 30th of March 2019 – on the day that Brexit implementation begins.”
He added that Liam Fox supports the deal, saying: “he was supportive of that ambition… we are in lockstep in terms of that aspiration.”
However, he did say that Britain will have to make certain compromises in return for the free trade deal. He said: “If Britain is serious about taking the opportunity to liberalise its trade and investment settings, then some business sectors will have to make what are sometimes painful adjustments.”
Speaking of Australia’s economic growth – which he argued Britain should attempt to replicate, he said: “Old industries that no longer made sense, in the emerging world and region that was taking shape, did fall away.
“Some people lost their jobs or struggled to adjust to work in the new services industries that were created in their place.”