The UK, Australia and New Zealand have confirmed that post-Brexit trade talks will begin this month, with each country seeking to promote free trade and economic prosperity following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia and New Zealand are to commence negotiations with the UK on a free trade agreement, with the Australian Trade Minister, Simon Birmingham, declaring it “a strong signal of our mutual support for free trade”.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Birmingham said Australia is “ready to help the UK find new beginnings post-Brexit and in doing so, open up new doors for our farmers, businesses and investors.”
“We’ve been preparing for this deal since the UK decided to leave the EU and welcome their agreement to commence negotiations,” he said.
Birmingham also stated that Australia and the UK hoped to conclude the deal “as quickly as possible”, and that both sides wanted “an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that builds on our already significant people-to-people links and creates new opportunities for exporters, generating more jobs in our nations”.
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New Zealand’s Trade Minister, David Parker, echoed Birmingham’s sentiments.
“As the UK embarks on its next steps post-Brexit, New Zealand is pleased to be among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement with one of our oldest friends,” Parker said. “New Zealand and Britain have a close relationship, including strong trade and economic ties, common values and traditions and a shared history”.
Parker said talks would focus on removal of trade tariffs, new approaches to non-tariff barriers, streamlined customs, regulatory cooperation, development of digital trade and trade provisions in support of sustainable development.
The first round of negotiations between Australia and the UK is due to begin on June 29th, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be held remotely.
The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, said this week he hoped to wrap up a trade deal with the EU before the end of July, paving the way for bilateral deals with nations such as Australia and New Zealand.
CANZUK International will continue to work with Trade Ministers and MPs across Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to promote mutual trading arrangements and develop facilitated migration agreements as part of upcoming negotiations.
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