Australia has asked for a free trade deal with the United Kingdom in the wake of its plans to leave the European Union after the EU referendum results scheduled in June.
New UK Prime Minister Theresa May praised the step taken by Australia and described the move as “very encouraging.” She also claimed that Australia’s initiative has indicated that Brexit could work for the nation. In conversation with May on Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he desired to foster trade between two Commonwealth nations.
Following the green light from Australian authorities, May has called on to UK’s new international trade secretary Liam Fox to start researching to find out how fruitful the proposal will be for Britain. While confirming Fox to explore options, the Brexit PM also noted that the UK could not sign any deal while it was an EU member. She has pledged to seek opportunities to crack free trade deals with its partners throughout the world.
“It is very encouraging that one of our closest international partners is already seeking to establish just such a deal,” May added as quoted by Sky News. “This shows that we can make Brexit work for Britain, and the new Secretary of State for International Trade will be taking this forward in the weeks and months ahead.”
Brexit supporter Fox, on the other hand, stated that there are many non-EU nations that have approached Britain for a free trade deal. He added that the nation is in positive trade talks with Canada and is also planning to visit the United States to talk to President Barack Obama.
Economist Howard Archer told the BBC News that the United Kingdom will be looking to partner with non-EU members for trade deals. He insisted that this was an important aspect of the Leave campaign. Although it takes a very long time for free trade deals to be implemented, Britain is trying to reach agreements with the maximum number of nations and will then emphasize deals with the most significant partners.
Turnbull, meanwhile, confirmed having a conversation with May regarding the free trade agreement. He called it a “constructive discussion” and he seemed hopeful of having a fruitful talk with Fox as well.