February 6, 2020 / 3:18 AM / 21 days ago

UK hopes for early free trade deal with Australia after leaving EU

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he hopes a free trade deal with Australia will be one of the first agreements secured now that Britain has left the European Union.

Britain formally left the EU on Jan. 31, entering a transition period which will allow it to negotiate its future relationship with Brussels and begin talks with other major economies such as the United States and Japan.

“We have a trade relationship already worth 17 billion pounds ($22.07 billion) but we have the potential to do so much more,” Raab told reporters in Canberra.

“Australia hopefully will part of that first wave of high priority deals that we are pursuing.”

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Kim Coghill

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