A UK Trade Deal Could Be A "Matter of Months Away", Says Australian High Commissioner

1 October 2019, 21:14 | Updated: 1 October 2019, 21:25

The Australian High Commissioner says once the UK achieves Brexit a trade deal with Australia could be a "matter of months away."

Talking of Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss’s visit to Canberra, the High Commissioner George Brandis said: “I can tell you it was a hugely successful visit. There was a real political will to get this free trade agreement done as soon as the UK achieves Brexit.”

Iain asked Brandis when the deadline for this deal could be expected.

Brandis said: “It’s always a little hazardous to put a deadline on these things, but what we say and the United Kingdom government says is this is a deal that can be done quite soon.

"So I’m not going to put a number on the number of months away, but the formal words Liz Truss and the Australian trade minister use which I think captures the sense of imminence, that it is a matter of months not years away.

“As you know, you can’t formally begin these trade agreements until Brexit happens because under EU law, a country that withdraws from the EU can’t begin that negotiation with a third country until that happens.

"But there have been a lot of preliminary discussions about the negotiations. So that we know what the agenda is and we know what issues to be resolved are, we know what is not in contention, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of what needs to be sorted once the formal negotiations start," said George Brandis.

Watch the insightful interview above.