Australian and British workers can enjoy visa-free travel to each other’s country under a proposed post-Brexit free trade agreement, with both Canberra and London eager to sign the deal before Christmas 2020.
With the UK government officially now under the administration of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, formal negotiations are set to begin soon after the UK leaves the European Union in January.
Two-way trade between the countries is already valued at $27 billion, with the UK currently the second-largest source of foreign investment in Australia, at $574.8 billion in 2018.
Mr Johnson has long advocated for a trans-Tasman-style free movement agreement between the UK and Australia post-Brexit, calling for “creative thinking” among Anglosphere countries.
As Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson MP, had renewed his call for a Trans-Tasman-style free-movement area between the UK and Australia after BRexit, following the launch of a report calling for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to make relations with Australia a top priority after leaving the European Union.
“These are nations that are very similar in many ways – we share very, very similar interests and a uniquely shared set of values,” Mr Johnson said during the Conservative Party’s leadership race this year.
British High Commissioner to Australia, Vicki Treadell, said business links and immigration controls would also be part of any deal.
“We want easy business to be done between our two countries,” she said at a meeting on Monday. “Part of that is actually how the movement of people takes place between our two countries. We want to open up sectors in both directions to do even more trade and attract even more investment.”
UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss also told The Australian Financial Review in September that liberalising trade between Australia and the UK was a top priority, along with making it easier for British citizens and Australians to work in each other’s countries.
CANZUK International will reach out to all re-elected and new MPs within the UK government and ensure that our proposals for free movement and trade are advanced within the parliaments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
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