Australia keen to get trade deal with UK

Australia is keen to get a trade deal happening with Britain after Boris Johnson's election victory.
Australia is keen to get a trade deal happening with Britain after Boris Johnson's election victory.

Both sides of Australian politics are keen to strike a free trade deal with the UK after last week's election result puts Britain on a path to leave the European Union early next year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to his victorious British counterpart Boris Johnson on Saturday night and discussed moving to a trade deal as soon as possible.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said Labor would work constructively to get such an agreement.

"We want to make sure that any new trade deal is good for Australia and good for Australian workers," he told Sky News on Sunday

"But really, the sooner .. we can get a new relationship with the UK post-Brexit the better."

However, Dr Chalmers said Labour's huge loss in the UK election shows centre-left parties can't win with populist policies alone.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Mr Johnson, posting the party's worst result since the 1930s.

Dr Chalmer's says his own Labor party had lessons to learn from its unexpected Australian election loss in May and has since had a review as to what went wrong.

"But certainly there are lessons for all parties of the centre-left all around the world," he said.

He said there are two parts to the UK election result - firstly, one party was promising to end the drama around Brexit while the other one was promising in one way or another to prolong it.

That was part of the result but not all of it.

"I think the lesson for centre-left parties is that you don't beat populism of the right with populism of the left. I've been saying that for some time now," Dr Chalmers said.

"You can't win an election just by preaching to your base. You need to build much bigger constituencies of support, and that begins with a bedrock of economic credibility."

Australian Associated Press