"UK Needs To Seize Brexit Trade Opportunities": Australian High Commissioner

31 October 2018, 16:46 | Updated: 31 October 2018, 16:49

The Australian High Commissioner said that the UK needs to embrace global trade opportunities with North America, Asia and Australasia, which will be on offer after we leave the EU in March 2019.

Following on from the announcement that the UK will open biometric gates to five new nationalities next summer, including Australians, George Brandis was in the studio to talk to Shelagh Fogarty.

While on to the topic of Brexit, Shelagh asked the Australian High Commissioner if he agreed with Tony Abbott, former Australian Prime Minister, that Britain needs to simply embrace the independence offered by Brexit.

The High Commissioner responded that "Britain needs to seize the opportunities that are at your feet, and those opportunities, particularly in global free trade with North America, with the Asian economies, with Australasia, they're just there to be grabbed."

Shelagh pointed out that "given the potential deal between the EU and Australia and New Zealand..they could be grabbed anyway, as members of the EU".

"But Britain is withdrawing from the EU, that's the point", George replied.

"When Britain withdraws from the EU, its trade policy will be its own. It will be not be mediated by the constraint of Brussels. So what we Australians say, and other friends of Britain around the world say, is - be adventurous, recover the spirit of the merchant adventurers that made this nation great."