UK Economics

‘Open for business’ Theresa May in talks with Australia over UK’s FIRST free trade deal

THERESA May is set to open talks on a landmark new free trade deal with Australia ready for when Britain leaves the EU.

Theresa and MalcolmGETTY

Mrs May will sit down with Malcolm Turnbull to thrash out a post-Brexit trade deal

The Prime Minister, who is currently in China for the G20 summit, will meet Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull on Monday to plan the outline of Britain’s first new trade agreement after Brexit.Mrs May is also expected to discuss other trade opportunities with Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the summit.

As a bold, confident, outward-looking country, we’ll be playing a key role on the world stage

Theresa May

Speaking ahead of the two-day meeting with world leaders, the Prime Minister said Britain is “open for business”.She said: “As a bold, confident, outward-looking country, we’ll be playing a key role on the world stage.

“I’ll be talking to other world leaders about the opportunities for trade around the globe that will open up for Britain following Brexit. My ambition for Britain is that we should be a global leader in free trade.”

Theresa May Philip HammondGETTY

Mrs May is attending the Summit with Chancellor Philip Hammond

And Turnbull said both countries are very committed to having an early free trade agreement after the UK ditches Brussels.He said: “Prime Minister May and I are very committed to having an early free trade agreement put in place so that when Britain leaves the EU, we have very open markets between Australia and Britain.

“They’ve got to put in place free trade agreements and we are enthusiastic and supportive; we’re providing Britain with as much assistance as we can at a technical level.”

Britain, which is currently short of trade-negotiating officials, has already received a boost after it was revealed Australia, New Zealand and Canada will lend the UK their expert trade negotiators.They will be crucial to the country’s aims of striking a pact with Brussels as well as creating fresh agreements around the world.

Mrs May, who is being accompanied in China by Chancellor Philip Hammond, will also meet China’s President Xi Jinping for the first time.

Theresa May Barack ObamaGETTY

The Prime Minister held her first G20 press conference with Barack Obama

Theresa MayGETTY

Mrs May has pledged Britain will be “key” in world trade

She will attempt to soothe relations with China after she sparked fury by delaying the £18.5billion Hinkley Point project – which will receive considerable financial help from Chinese nuclear giant China General Nuclear PowerMrs May insisted it was “a golden era for UK-China relations”, on Sunday.

The Prime Minister will meet with president Xi on Monday with the controversial issue still unresolved.But Mrs May’s has been warned ahead of her first international conference to get undressed under her bedsheets.

The extraordinary advice formed part of security guidance issued to the Prime Minister and her staff before their visit amid fears of Chinese spies.

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