Trading Up Down Under – What 5 Things Can We Look Forward to in 2021?
Wednesday 17th June marked an auspicious day for the future of UK, Australian and NZ relations – the day when free trade negotiations between the three countries (and beyond) were officially launched.
These discussions are also likely to pave the way for the UK to be included in the wider Trans-Pacific Partnership – a trade agreement covering other countries including Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam.
So what are the implications for relations going forward between the UK, Australia and New Zealand?
- A deal would lower the cost of trade, attract billions of dollars of investment and enable firms to compete against each other across countries
- We might see some sort of “free-movement” system where Brits, Aussies and Kiwis could travel to and from each others’ countries without a restrictive visa
- At the very least, we can hope for longer term reciprocal visas (for those on YMS for example we might see three year periods, or the chance to apply for a second two year visa)
- Highly skilled professionals may no longer require sponsorship, or may require a far less arduous and costly process to obtain sponsorship
- A renewal and reinvestment in working and travelling across the three countries – reinforcing their alignment and mutually benefiting all involved
So how long will this take and when can we expect concrete outcomes? Again, this is an area where we can look forward with a great deal of optimism – all sides have been informally talking for two years and are largely familiar with each other’s positions – and all are highly motivated for various reasons to strike a deal promptly. It is quite possible that a deal could be struck by the end of 2020. This could be a game-changer for individuals and companies wishing to work, travel and invest across the three countries.
Fast forward six months and we could see a much-heralded trade and immigration agreement enabling the UK, Australia and New Zealand to promote what have always been closely aligned interests, and enable their people to more easily travel, work and contribute to each others’ cultures and economies. After what will have been an immensely challenging 2020, this should provide tangible hope for 2021.
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Take care, stay safe and stay positive!
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