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Australia wants post-Brexit trade agreement with UK this year

Christian Fernsby |
Australia is aiming to wrap up a trade agreement with post-Brexit UK by the end of the year, a government minister has said.

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Simon Birmingham, speaking on the day Britain's vote to leave the EU becomes reality, said Canberra was looking to an agreement which "essentially

liminated tariffs, quotas, trade barriers as much as is possible".

The Australian minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment said Australia was ready to go "as soon as the UK was ready to start", while the chief executive of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce told the PA news agency the country was "ready to deliver".

Birmingham, speaking on ABC Radio Adelaide, said Brexit has felt like "a never-ending story" but added there was desire to strike an agreement.

He added: "Australia would love to see an agreement that essentially eliminated tariffs, quotas, trade barriers as much as is possible.

"But of course it's a negotiation and that will depend upon the perspective that the UK take. Now, there's goodwill on both sides to get this agreement done quickly.

"I think [there is] goodwill for it to be an ambitious agreement, but just how far the UK will go in terms of tariff and quota elimination, we'll have to see."

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