Sky | 6 May 2023
Anthony Albanese announces free trade deal with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London day before coronation
by Patrick Staveley
Anthony Albanese is making the most of his trip to London for the coronation, securing an important bilateral free trade agreement with the United Kingdom.
The Prime Minister landed on Tuesday morning local time as he prepared for a "busy agenda" before King Charles III’s Coronation on Saturday.
Mr Albanese linked up with his counterpart, Rishi Sunak to further discuss the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement on Friday which was announced shortly after their private meeting.
The leaders wasted no time in securing their deal in the 30-minute meeting which also involved topics including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, their defence co-operation within AUKUS and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
Mr Albanese announced the Free Trade agreement will be ratified on May 31.
"We discussed trade and the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement that will come into force on the 31st of May, and the opportunities that presents for Australian businesses to have growth here in the UK, and also, consequentially, UK businesses to have growth in Australia," he said.
There will be no tariffs on over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports to the UK with new export opportunities set to open across wine, short and medium-grain rice, honey, nuts, auto parts, electrical equipment and cosmetic products.
After five years of the Free Trade Agreement, all UK imports will enter Australia duty-free in a bid to ease cost-of-living pressures for residents and input costs for Aussie businesses.
The Daily Telegraph reports the UK and Australia also signed a memorandum which allows British citizens aged 18 to 35 to travel and work in Australia for up to three years, while Aussies aged 21 to45 can do the same in the UK.
"Also the opportunities for our people to people relations to be expanded, with visits for working holiday visas expanded to three years and up to 35 years of age," Mr Albanese added.
"So it will not just lead to a longer experience but a better experience across a greater range of industries as well."
The UK Prime Minister attempted to ruffle the feathers of his counterpart by declaring it was "obvious" England would be reclaiming the Ashes this summer when the Australian and England cricket sides face off.
"Well we’ll agree on most things, but on sport perhaps, the rivalry will continue," Mr Albanese responded.
"But the (FIFA Women’s) World Cup, of course, we will have, I must inform you, Prime Minister, that we will have Sam Kerr as our flagbearer tomorrow at the Coronation.
"And Sam Kerr will invariably be winning and being the key goal-scorer at the World Cup, being at home on our home soil."
Mr Albanese will attend the coronation of King Charles on Saturday as one of the first groups to enter Westminster Abbey in the procession alongside Governor-General David Hurley.
Other Australian attendees are set to join the Prime Minister at the coronation including Nick Cave and Adam Hills.