The hunt for new trade deals for the UK following Brexit is leading to the governments of Australia and New Zealand to use their bargaining power to increase cooperation for the movement of people between the UK and their countries.
The Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer has said that he will be seeking better access for Australians doing business with the UK. He has gone on to suggest that any visa trade deal discussions should also include discussion on visa arrangements between the two countries.
Under the current arrangements Australians wanting to visit the UK for business and to work must obtain a tier two visa which allows them to work and live in the UK for a period of no more than five years. They also need to prove that they will earn a salary exceeding £25,000 per year and savings of over £945. The Australian government would like to see visa relaxations allowing Australian companies to bring some of their own workforce to the UK without applications for tier two visas being necessary. The New Zealand government has also suggested that visa discussions will take place alongside the trade deal discussions. Both countries see this as an opportunity to negotiate better visa deals for their citizens wanting to travel to the UK for work.
The Australians believe that although no formal discussions can be entered into until the UK officially exits the European Union it is hoped that a deal can be put in place in a very short time scale one discussions begin. The UK is keen to enter into new trade deals with partners outside the European Union as soon as possible which leave Australia and New Zealand in strong positions to negotiate the very best deals for their countries.