Australian Foreign Minister Hopes For UK-Australia Exchanges In Brexit Deal

Published by Jared Owens – The Australian

Julie Bishop is optimistic that a future bilateral trade deal with the United Kingdom would empower more Australians to travel and work in Britain.

Julie Bishop & Boris Johnson (photo: FCO)

The Foreign Minister’s comments came as her UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, declared it “odd” that Australians struggled harder to settle in Britain than European nations such as Slovakia.

Britain’s membership of the EU currently renders it unable to negotiate bilateral trade deals, but that would change once “Brexit” is implemented over the coming years.

Ms Bishop said she was encouraged that Mr Johnson was a “big supporter of deeper exchanges between Australia”.

I’m looking forward to working closely with Foreign Secretary Johnson to see if we can have more visas, particularly for young Australians and young Britons wanting to spend time in each other’s country,” she told Sky News.

Mr Johnson said: “When you do free trade deals with other countries around the world you may want to look at ways in which we would make it easier than it currently is for Australians who have a job they want to come and do that“.

At the moment it is more difficult for Australians than it is for anybody from Slovakia or wherever it happens to be. I personally think that’s an oddity in the way we organise things so yes that’s perfectly sensible.

Mr Johnson, when he was mayor of London, favoured unrestricted immigration between Australia and Britain.

Mr Johnson said he expected Britain would notify the EU of its intention to withdraw from the union early next year, triggering a tentative two-year timeline to conclude negotiations, although prime minister Theresa May’s office distanced itself from the suggestion.