Trade negotiators for the UK and Australia say they have reached consensus on the vast majority of elements of a comprehensive free trade agreement.
A spokesperson for the UK Government said both countries were “confident” that the remaining issues will be resolved, adding that officials “will now enter a sprint” to agree the outstanding details with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle by June.
The second day of talks between UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan concluded on Friday evening (April 23) in London.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said: “We have made major breakthroughs over the past few days and an agreement is now in sight. I want to thank Dan personally for the contribution he has made and for his desire to get this deal done.
“This is a deal that will deliver for Britain and all parts of our economy. It is a win-win for both nations.
“It is a fundamentally liberalising agreement that will support jobs across the country and help us emerge stronger from the pandemic, strengthening ties between two democracies who share a fierce belief in freedom, enterprise and fair play.
“We will spend the next few weeks ironing out details and resolving outstanding issues, with a view to reaching a deal by June.”
Post-Brexit trade agreement progress
Since the Brexit transition period ended January 1, the UK has reached trade agreements with 62 countries and regions.
Agreements include the CARIFORUM-UK economic partnership agreement with Caribbean nations, Andean countries trade agreement, UK-Central America association agreement, the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) trade partnership, as well as deals with Japan, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Ukraine, among others.