Australian PM ‘concerned’ about delays to UK trade deal following Truss exit

Mr Albanese met Liz Truss when he visited the UK for the Queen’s funeral last month, and had met Boris Johnson at a Nato summit in June.

21 October 2022

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed concern about potential delays to the Australia-UK free trade deal caused by Britain’s political instability.

Speaking to reporters in Perth, Western Australia on Friday, Mr Albanese said: “I’m concerned about any delay that would occur to the Australia–UK free trade agreement.

“I had discussed with Prime Minister Truss the fast-tracking of that. We discussed trying to get it concluded before the end of this year, to make sure that the appropriate parliamentary processes went through our respective parliaments.”

Ms Truss’s resignation on Thursday after just 44 days in office brings to an end the shortest premiership in British history.

Queen Elizabeth II death
Mr Albanese with the King during his visit in September (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

It followed weeks of financial and political turmoil in the wake of then chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s calamitous £45 billion mini-budget giveaway which led to a collapse in support for Ms Truss among Tory MPs.

It also comes just six weeks after Boris Johnson left No 10, meaning Mr Albanese will soon meet a new British PM for the third time in the five months since Australians brought his Labor Party to power.

Mr Albanese joked when comparing his term so far with the leadership turnover in the UK, saying: “My government is stable, is orderly. The adults are in charge.

“I’ve been in office for five months. I’ve met the two British prime ministers, so far, and I obviously will have contact with a third at some time when those issues are concluded.”

Mr Albanese met Ms Truss when he visited the UK for the Queen’s funeral last month, and had met Mr Johnson at a Nato summit in June.

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