The Australian Government wants to agree a free trade agreement with the EU before negotiating one with the UK, it emerged today.
Speaking in London, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said of the proposed EU-Australia deal that he wants to “get that done before Britain actually leaves the EU.”
Commenting, Ben Bradshaw MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“A free trade deal with Australia would be good news, but with it accounting for just 1.4% of our exports, it is a drop in the ocean compared to the EU market on our doorstep which accounts for half our trade.
“As keen as Malcolm Turnbull is on a deal with the UK, he actually wants one with the EU first and before the UK leaves. So we are behind the EU in the queue for a deal with even our Antipodean allies.
“This demonstrates the foolishness of betting the house on trade deals which may not happen for years, when the Government is committed to quickly pulling us out of the Single Market and the Customs Union, a combination of which gives us free trade across the European Union and trade deals with over fifty other countries.”