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UK is seeking for new free trade agreements outside the EU

UK is seeking for new free trade agreements outside the EU Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told his British counterpart Theresa May he would like to see the two countries strike a free trade deal as soon as possible following Britain's vote to leave the EU, May's office said yesterday.

The two leaders had spoken on Saturday to discuss their priorities after May took office on Wednesday and Turnbull retained power a week ago in a national election.

While acknowledging that legal obligations prevent Britain from signing deals while still an EU member, May had replied she would be very keen to complete an agreement as soon as possible, the statement said.

Britain now needs to start striking free trade deals with countries outside the EU in order to show that Brexit could succeed.

Turnbull confirmed in Sydney on Sunday that he had discussed a free trade agreement with May, describing their conversation as constructive.

"Clearly our free trade arrangements with the United Kingdom of course are with the European community," he told reporters.

"So as Britain leaves the EU, what we will need to do is negotiate direct arrangements with Britain," he said.

Also Britain’s new Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox had a meeting with Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday in London.

Canada’s priority is to enact and ratify the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in 2017 while the U.K. is still part of the EU.

The EU has put its landmark free-trade accord with Canada on a slow track for approval, increasing the risk of a veto amid an anti-globalization backlash across Europe. The pact will now need the approval of each EU member state’s individual parliament, as well as both the European Council and European Parliament. The sides had initially hoped to avoid sending the deal to each national parliament for approval.
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