Australia to push for more British visas

Canberra, Sep 10 (IANS) Australians could soon find it easier to find work in Britain if free trade negotiations between the two countries run smoothly, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Saturday.

Bishop, who met with her British counterpart Boris Johnson late Friday, said work, travel and study visas would be a priority for both governments once Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) is complete, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Should we be in a position to conclude a free trade agreement after Brexit well then obviously (improved access) can be the subject of a free trade agreement,” Bishop said.

“I certainly look forward to increasing the number of business visas, student visas, work visas, between Australia and Britain,” said Bishop.

Australia is a significant investor in London in particular and Britain is a significant investor in Australia, Bishop said, adding that the both sides have an interest in ensuring that this relationship endures and that’s one way that it will do so.

In less than a decade, the number of Australians living and working in Britain has fallen by 40 per cent, something Johnson described as “peculiar”.

He said reforming a strong relationship between the two nations was important for a post-Brexit Britain.

“It would be a fantastic thing if we had a more sensible system, ” he said, adding “I think we can make progress and I’m confident that we will.”

–IANS

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