Australia’s high commissioner has said that Britain must relax immigration laws for Australians if it wants a free trade deal.
Former Australian Liberal Party politician, and high commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, said, that “greater access” for business people would be needed before a post – Brexit agreement could be reached.
Speaking to state owned Radio 4 he said, “We would want to see greater access for Australian businesspeople working in the UK and that’s often been a part of free-trade negotiations — it hasn’t always been by the way, but it’s often been part of our free-trade negotiations.
“It might just make it a bit simpler actually. For example, an Australian company that invests in the UK might want to bring some of its executives to the UK.
“That can be done now with what are called tier two visas, but maybe that could be made a little bit easier.”
He also stated that talks had taken place at the political level which “explored the scope” of a free trade deal. He pointed out, however, that nothing could happen until Britain had formally left the EU.
He continued, “We have had discussions with them at all sorts of different levels, including ministerial level, and we have set up a working group to explore the scope of what a free-trade agreement might look like.
“We can’t negotiate a free-trade agreement with the UK until the time is right. Obviously once the UK leaves the EU it can negotiate free-trade agreements, but not before then.
“But we can scope it out and we’ve provided a scoping paper to the British Government to explain what we think the scope of a free-trade agreement should look like.”
In her recent speech Theresa May made it clear that Britain would leave the European Union’s single market and customs union.