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Free Movement & Trade Talks Between Australia & UK “Productive”

Australia and the United Kingdom have commenced talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade and mobility deal between the two countries, with the first round of discussions described as successful and productive.

Trade Ministers Simon Birmingham & Liz Truss are leading the negotiations between Australia & the UK (photo: Lucas Coch/EPA)
Written by James Skinner

James is the Founder & Chief Executive of CANZUK International in Toronto, Canada

            

The talks, held virtually on June 29th and July 10th, were led by British Trade Minister Liz Truss and Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.

Since both countries announced a comprehensive deal would be sought, talks have centered on trade relations, visa mobility for citizens and market access.

“Discussions between negotiators were productive and reflected our shared ambition to secure a comprehensive deal to boost trade and investment between our like-minded economies,” Ms. Truss said in a statement. “Teams discussed their respective objectives and agreed a forward plan for future talks. Our positive discussions in round one have laid the groundwork for the UK and Australia to achieve high-quality outcomes across the agreement.”

The landmark agreement, which could be done by the end of the year, would add up to $2 billion in trade between the two countries and advance labour mobility for citizens. Both Truss and Birmingham have confirmed visa-free access should be part of the talks in future rounds.


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“We start from a very strong position in terms of backpacking and working holidays that already exists and there are some ways we can build on that to make it even easier,” Birmingham said. “There’s huge goodwill between Australia and Britain to do the deal. With the flow of people between the two countries already so large, we have a strong understanding of one another.”

It is likely that visa-mobility between the two countries will be implemented in stages, granting improved visa access for programs already in place between Australia and the UK, and eventually developing into full facilitated migration as proposed under CANZUK International’s proposals.

CANZUK International will continue to monitor and provide input for the ongoing negotiations between Australia and the UK, and encourage a swift conclusion for a comprehensive deal encompassing trade and free movement of citizens.

         
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