Australia watching Brexit vote "closely"
Oct. 19, 2019
As the UK parliament prepares to vote on a deal that would see Britain leave the European Union at the end of this month, Australia remains ready to pounce to try and secure a free trade agreement.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a deal with his European counterparts this week, but it still has to be approved at a special parliamentary sitting on Saturday.
At this stage, Britain will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a Brexit deal.
Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham said his government is watching events in the UK "very closely".
"In the end and we have done all the preparatory work to ensure Australia is as best placed for any scenario in relation to Brexit," Senator Birmingham said heading into the Liberal Party's Federal Council meeting in Canberra on Saturday.
"If a deal is struck and followed through with the parliament in Westminister then we will of course continue our negotiations with the EU and UK."
However, if there is no orderly deal and the UK leaves on October 31, then Australia will try and hasten the trade negotiations, he said.
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