Liz Truss says Brits could live and work in Australia without a visa after Brexit

Posted On: 
18th September 2019

Liz Truss has suggested that the UK and Australia could agree to allow free movement between each other's countries after Brexit.

Liz Truss is on a tour of Australia, New Zealand and Japan
Credit: 
PA Images

The International Trade Secretary said on a visit down under that visa-free travel could form part of a deal once Britain exits the European Union.

After meeting the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and her counterpart Simon Birmingham Ms Truss told a press conference in Canberra the two nations had a "special link".

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According to the news.com.au website, she told reporters on the subject of free movement: "It's certainly something we will be looking at as part of our free trade negotiations."

Current immigration rules between the two nations mean Brits need a visa to go on holiday to Australia and separate visas if they want to work temporarily or live permanently.

There have been suggestions that post-Brexit the Trans-Tasman agreement Australia has with New Zealand allowing free travel could be extended to cover the UK.

It would also see Australians allowed to live and work in the UK without a visa.

But Morrison dismissed the idea after a meeting with Boris Johnson at the G7 summit in France last month.

He said at the time: "The New Zealand arrangement is quite unique and it's not one we would probably ever contemplate extending."

Ms Truss is currently on a three-country tour through Australia, New Zealand and Japan, where she is aiming to get trade deals signed off for when Britain leaves the EU, saying an agreement could be done in "months rather than years”.

She added: “We want a fully comprehensive trade deal that reflects our deep, ongoing relationship, the friendship between our two countries.

"The fact that Australians want to come and live and work in Britain, and Brits want to come and live and work in Australia.

"Leaving the European Union really does give us a chance as a country to become more outward-looking, to become more competitive, and to deepen our links with our partners right across the world.

"The reason that I’ve chosen to make Australia one of the first countries I’ve visited as trade secretary is this is an absolute priority for me to get on with this trade deal.”