The British High Commissioner to Australia, Menna Rawlings, has stated that both British and Australian governments will be looking to implement reciprocal migration agreements for skilled workers following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019.
Interviewing with ABC News in Australia, Rawlings was questioned about the ongoing issues in the British government surrounding it’s departure from the European Union, and the interest within the Australian government for a new trade deal after March 2019.
When asked about the potential for the UK and Australia negotiating a dynamic trade deal, Rawlings stated:
“We’re anticipating an ambitious trade agreement as quickly as we’re able to get there. I think there’s a lot of opportunity and we’ve had some really good discussions with the Australian government about that already”.
“What we have been doing is warming it up so that the moment we are ready to negotiate, we can move quickly. We would like to start negotiations as soon as possible after the 29th of March.”
Rawlings also emphasized that the UK and Australia have been in close contact since the Brexit referendum, with senior government officials and diplomats indicating significant interest in establishing a trade deal as soon as the UK leaves the European Union.
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“Certainly over my time in Australia, since the vote took place, I’ve seen a real step up in terms of Britain’s interest in this part of the world – in the Australia relationship, but also working with countries like Australia in the region”, she said.
“In my view…Brexit will lead to a Britain that is more open, more outward looking, more engaged with a wider range of international partners around the world”.
Rawlings also emphasized the support in both countries for the commencement of freer movement and migration agreements, allowing skilled workers to live and work in each country as part of any upcoming free trade agreement:
“On a Free Trade Agreement, this is an area we want to really look at in terms of making sure that on both sides, it’s as easy as possible for our skilled migrants to be able to live and work in each others’ countries”.
Such comments have also been reiterated by politicians in all four CANZUK countries with the intention of establishing free trade agreements and implementing subsequent migration agreements, ultimately leading to free movement as part of an overall CANZUK objective.
The UK government will leave the European Union in March 2019, at which point, CANZUK International will continue to advocate for trade and migration agreements between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as part of any post-Brexit negotiations.
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