Aussies could soon live and work in the UK without a Visa

 

Britain wants a freedom of movement deal with Australia to allow people to live and work in both countries without a visa.

The UK's Trade Secretary Liz Truss put the plan back on the agenda today as she held pre-Brexit trade talks with Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham in Canberra.

It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated last month he was not open to a New Zealand-style agreement with Britain.

Federal Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham with UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss MP at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith
Federal Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham with UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss MP at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith

Secretary Truss said today the UK would be "looking at" the proposal as part of its trade talks with Australia.

"We want a fully comprehensive trade deal that reflects our deep, ongoing relationship, the friendship between our two countries, the fact that Australians want to come and live and work in Britain, and Brits want to come and live and work in Australia," Ms Truss said at a joint press conference with Minister Birmingham at Parliament House.

"Leaving the European Union really does give us a chance as a country to become more outward looking, to become more competitive, and to deepen our links with our partners right across the world.

"The reason that I've chosen to make Australia one of the first countries I've visited as Trade Secretary is this is an absolute priority for me to get on with this trade deal."

Ms Truss highlighted the UK's "special link" with Australia when asked about the freedom of movement proposal and said: "It's certainly something we will be looking at as part of our free trade negotiations."

PM Scott Morrison after attending a Spinal Muscular Atrophy event at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith
PM Scott Morrison after attending a Spinal Muscular Atrophy event at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith

Mr Morrison poured cold water over the proposal last month following his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"The New Zealand arrangement is quite unique and it's not one we would probably ever contemplate extending," he said at the time.

Expanding Australia's agricultural exports to the UK will be part of the trade talks which will formally begin after the Brexit deadline on October 31.

"We will be leaving deal or no deal," Ms Truss said.

A trade deal with Australia could be done in "months rather than years," she said.

Lower tariffs on alcohol imports or new opportunities in industries such as financial services or technology were also flagged as possible outcomes for the trade deal.

Minister Birmingham said the deal would open trade opportunities for Australia that were currently restricted by the UK being part of the EU.



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