Australia hopes for new UK visa deal

23 Jan 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

 Australia’s High Commissioner to London is calling for a better access to the UK for business people as part of potential trade agreements after Brexit.

Alexander Downer suggested that rather than the current Tier 2 visa regime, the system could be simplified as part of a future deal.
He told the BBC: “We would want to see greater access for Australian businesspeople working in the UK and that’s often been a part of free trade negotiations – it hasn’t always been by the way, but it’s often been part of our free trade negotiations.
“It might just make it a bit simpler actually, for example an Australian company that invests in the UK might want to bring some of its executives to the UK.
“That can be done with what are called Tier 2 visas, but maybe that could be made a little bit easier. I suspect they would be the only sort of changes you’d be looking at.”
The UK is currently looking for free trade partners to work with after it leaves the European Union. The Government cannot sign any deals or start formal talks until Brexit has taken place, but the groundwork for future talks can be laid down. Australia is one of the key nations, along with India, that the Government is focusing on for future trade partnerships once it has left the single market.
In 2015-16, Australian trade with Britain was valued at £16.4 billion and the country imported goods worth £9.1 billion from the UK.
It’s hoped that a trade deal between the UK and Australia can be agreed speedily once the UK has left the EU. Australia and the US signed a new deal within eight months during President George W Bush’s Presidency.