Australia and UK Ready to Agree to Free Trade Deal: Bishop

July 21, 2018 Updated: July 22, 2018

Australia and the U.K. are ready to agree on a free trade deal, Australian minister for foreign affairs Julie Bishop said on Friday. This followed her discussions with U.K. foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt at a bilateral meeting in Edinburgh.

“Both governments stand ready to agree [to] a free trade agreement as soon as circumstances allow,” Bishop said.

Bishop and Hunt also covered foreign policy, defence, and security issues during the meeting, in the context of Brexit.

“The United Kingdom will find post-Brexit that Australia will be one of your strongest, most trusted, principled and pragmatic partners,” she said.

According to Hunt, the bilateral discussion prioritised trade between Australia and the U.K. to ensure that “whatever happens next year” in terms of Brexit, trade would remain smooth and grow between the two countries.

“We also discussed contingency planning for a no-deal scenario, to make sure that trade flows continue smoothly, but most of all we want to grow trade between the United Kingdom and Australia,” Hunt said, AAP reported.

Both Bishop and Hunt agreed with US President Donald Trump’s demands for NATO allies to increase defence spending as per agreed targets.

“There must be more burden-sharing when it comes to defending international rules-based order, when it comes to enforcing the rules and norms, and when it comes to promoting and advocating peace and stability around the world,” Bishop said.

From NTD.tv

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