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Turnbull says Australia 'keen' ...

Turnbull says Australia 'keen' for trade deal with UK

Malcolm Turnbull has told British journalists that he wants to establish a UK trade deal as quickly as possible, following the nation’s departure from the European Union.

Speaking outside of Downing Street, he explained it was up to the UK to decide how quickly a trade deal between the two nations could be created.

"We move quickly. Australians are fleet of foot. We don't muck around. We're very simple. So we will move as quickly as the UK will move," he said.

The UK cannot negotiate trade deals with other countries until after its exit from the EU has been finalised. However, Whitehall has set up a working party to look at the issues involved, in order to expedite the process once Brexit is complete.

During the press conference, Mr Turnbull also noted that Australia "had been the first on the phone" to call for a free trade agreement with the UK, after Britain decided to leave the EU.

He said he hoped the EU deal could be finalised ahead of the March 2019 deadline, and he praised Theresa May's vision for a post-Brexit Britain, labelling it "one filled with optimism" and "not a counsel of despair as some people have said".

Mrs May has said a trade deal with Australia would be a priority after Brexit, and she has indicated that she plans to expand on the £14 billion of trade between the two countries.

"We've both made clear our intention to continue to deepen our trade and investment relationship as the UK leaves the EU," she said.

She added that Brexit negotiations "have started well" and that she has made clear to Mr Turnbull that "an ambitious and comprehensive bilateral trade deal with Australia remains a priority for the UK".

During Mr Turnbull's visit to the UK, he also visited the scene of the London Bridge terrorist attack. On June 3rd, a van mounted the pavement and was driven into pedestrians, killing 48 people including two Australians.

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