Canberra, June 27: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday announced Australia will team up with New Zealand in a bid to negotiate new trade and immigration deals in the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).
He has also ordered an urgent review from Treasury officials and diplomats over the implications of the exit, ABC News reported.
Turnbull told reporters in Adelaide he had been in contact with his New Zealand counterpart John Key, warning the implications of Friday’s historic vote were “considerable”.
“We have many, many common interests in terms of dealing with that, both from a trade point of view, from a movement of persons point of view,” he said.
“There are some big issues in terms of the access of Australians and New Zealanders to Europe and indeed to the UK.”
Turnbull said he wanted to establish a “collaborative, cooperative framework” with New Zealand if he was re-elected in the federal elections scheduled for July 2.
He warned there were “opportunities and challenges” arising from Britain’s decision and he had ordered a “comprehensive report” on its likely consequences.
“We are keeping a very, very close eye on it,” Turnbull said.
He said he had ordered the Reserve Bank, as well as the financial regulators ASIC and APRA, to provide a report early next week to whoever wins Saturday’s federal election.
Turnbull said while there was a “measure of stability” returning to financial markets, there remained “considerable political uncertainty”.
Turnbull added a trade treaty must be worked out with Britain following its exit from the EU.
Australia is seeking a bilateral free trade agreement with the EU that was adopted in a referendum on Thursday.