The UK is Australia’s seventh largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $27.8 billion in 2017-18. Investment is a cornerstone of our relationship, with the UK being the second-largest source of total foreign investment in Australia, valued at $481.4 billion in 2017.
Australia and the UK established a Joint Trade Working Group (TWG) in September 2016 to scope out the parameters of a future, comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) and exchange views on global trade policy issues and developments. Four formal meetings of the Australia–UK TWG have now been held. Working Group leads have maintained regular contact.
Both governments have committed to ensure an expeditious transition to FTA negotiations when the UK has left the European Union (EU). EU rules provide that the UK may not commence FTA negotiations with third-country parties until after Brexit. A formal consultation process will be announced closer to the launch of negotiations.
Key interests and benefits of an Australia-UK FTA
- A comprehensive, high-quality Australia-UK FTA would help to ensure our trade and investment relationship reaches its full potential.
- An Australia-UK FTA would remove barriers to trade in goods.
- An Australia-UK FTA could expand services linkages and investment ties.
- An Australia-UK FTA could modernise the rules governing trade in goods, services and investment between Australia and the UK. These new rules could better facilitate digital economy and innovation.