Theresa May says post-Brexit talks have started with Australia
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed discussions on future trade deals have already started.
Australia’s finance minister Mathias Cormann told Sky News there had been “preliminary conversations” about a trade deal.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said he expected the free trade deal to be done “very quickly” and said there was “goodwill on both sides”.
Britain has started talks on future trade ties with Australia, New Zealand and India
It comes as Mrs May said China, Brazil and the Gulf states had expressed an interest in striking trade deals.
The Prime Minister told the WEF that a post-Brexit Britain will "step up to a new leadership role as the strongest and most forceful advocate for business, free markets and free trade anywhere in the world".
She insisted that the UK would "emerge from this period of change as a truly Global Britain – the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too; a country that gets out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike."
Mrs May said post-Brexit Britain would remain a "hub for foreign investment", a "home to people from around the world" and a supporter of multi-lateral organisations like the United Nations, Nato, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Australia’s finance minister Mathias Cormann he expected the free trade deal to be done “quickly"
Theresa May said post-Brexit Britain would remain a "hub for foreign investment"
The Prime Minister said: "We are going to be a confident country that is in control of its own destiny once again.
"And it is because of that that we will be in a position to act in this global role.
"Because a country in control of its destiny is more, not less, able to play a full role in underpinning and strengthening the multilateral rules-based system."
World Economic Forum meeting in Davos
Thu, January 22, 2015
World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos Jan. 21-24. World leaders including France's Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel and China's Li Keqiang will gather at the annual Davos forum, seeking to chart a path away from fundamentalism towards solidarity. The world's political and business elite gather in the glitzy Swiss ski resort with the shadow of recent attacks in France and ongoing global conflicts looming large.
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A screen is pictured at the Congress Center on the eve of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos on January 20, 2015
The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Dozens of countries around the world are preparing to expand their trade links with the UK as it leaves the EU and gets "out into the world”.
Dr Fox said the UK would champion free trade in a world where decades of progress to open up markets was under threat.