Australia and Britain were “eager” to ink a trade deal before Christmas
Australia and Britain were “eager” to ink a trade deal before Christmas

Aussies could be big winners in new UK trade deal: Abbott

Australia and Britain were "eager" to ink a trade deal before Christmas, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott told a UK parliament committee.

And he hoped it would be a "no tariff, no quota" deal that allowed people to work in both countries more easily.

"I know that on both sides there is an eagerness to try and get the Australian deal done before Christmas," Mr Abbott said.

"And I hope that in the next negotiating sessions both sides are prepared to put all their cards on the table so that the best possible deal can be hammered out."

 

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Picture: NCA NewsWire/POOL/Bianca De Marchi
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Picture: NCA NewsWire/POOL/Bianca De Marchi

Australian wine exporters would be big winners in a trade deal, and accountants and lawyers were more likely to be able to work in both countries with longer visas.

An agreement on working holiday visas was also likely to be part of the deal, with the possibility of younger people being able to live in either country for more than two years.

Quotas and tariffs on farming were likely to be a trickier issue.

Mr Abbott, who has signed on as a Member of the UK's Board of Trade, was speaking to Britain's International Trade Committee.

"Ideally, a deal between Britain and Australia would involve no tariffs, no quotas, as full as possible mutual recognition of standards and qualifications and as free as possible movement of people for well-paid work, not welfare," he said.

"That's got to be the objective in any negotiations between two like-minded countries of comparable standard of living.

"And plainly, given the history between Britain and Australia and the complementarity of their economies, a deal of such ready economic integration should be more possible with us than almost anyone else."

Talks were due to resume on the trade deal between Australia and the United Kingdom next week.

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told News Corp Australia earlier this year that an Australian deal was a priority, along with the United States, Japan, and New Zealand.

The UK has already signed a trade deal with Japan, while a US deal was being held up because of the elections there.

A deal on Brexit was looking more likely next week, with positive signs coming out of discussions.

A no-deal Brexit would be an economic wrecking ball for both sides, with locked down Europe and the UK already struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Abott also jokingly suggested that the UK Parliament should be moved to Scotland while the Houses of Parliament at Westminster were renovated, amid a new push for Scottish independence.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

Originally published as Aussies could be big winners in new UK trade deal: Abbott



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