Post-Brexit deal prospect
Australia opens door to free trade with Britain
Prime Minister Theresa May said it was a “very encouraging” move that showed Britain could build new links post-Brexit.
Her Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull told Mrs May in a phone call he was keen to develop trade with Britain.
Liam Fox, the new International Trade Secretary, said he has been contacted about a number of similar deals.
Britain cannot sign any deals while it is still an EU member, but the approach from Australia will be seen by some as a potential route to rebuilding old ties through the Commonwealth countries.
Australia is Britain’s seventh largest trading partner, and second to the United States when in direct foreign investment.
Mr Turnbull has said Canberra could link up with New Zealand to strike new commercial and immigration accords with the UK following its decision to leave the EU.
Mrs May said: “I have been very clear that this government will make a success of our exit from the European Union.
“One of the ways we will do this is by embracing the opportunities to strike free trade deals with our partners across the globe. It is very encouraging that one of our closest international partners is already seeking to establish just such a deal.”
“This shows that we can make Brexit work for Britain.”