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UK, Australia commit to free trade talks

EPA-EFE/LUKAS COCH AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT
British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab (L) and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne (R) shake hands ahead of a bilateral meeting at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, 06 February 2020.

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British foreign secretary Dominic Raab visited Australia, where he and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne reaffirmed both sides’ desire for a free trade deal.
Raab assured Payne that the countries’ differing views on Chinese tech giant Huawei would not stand in the way of their countries’ bilateral relations. Recently, the UK let Huawei play a limited role in building the country’s 5G mobile phone networks.
Australia has already excluded the company from providing 5G networking equipment, over security fears. Raab said that UK’s decision would not affect its intelligence-sharing relationship with the Five Eyes partnership, whose members are Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
“We were absolutely clear and looked at it very clearly and there is nothing in the decision that we took that would inhibit or disrupt in any way whatsoever the Five Eyes intelligence sharing and there‘s nothing in the approach that we are taking that would have an impact on, for example, the sharing of sensitive data”, Raab said.
“We also look forward to an early, comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement because we both believe in rules-based markets for trade and investment”, Payne said.
Raab and Payne also agreed to find opportunities for engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as for cooperation between the countries’ space agencies, with the intention to help Australia respond to wildfires.

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