At a recent meeting in London, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia, pledged the support of his country to the UK and the broader Commonwealth family during the uncertainty of Brexit and the global market challenges that we face. He called for free trade agreements to be established as soon as practical to ensure the movement of top talent and incentives for investing in building a modern economy for the future are not undermined.
Elizabeth met with Prime Minister Turnbull at a Britain-Australia Society reception in the grand surroundings of Marlborough House, Headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was also attended by H.E. The Hon. Alexander Downer AC, Australian High Commissioner to the UK and the Rt Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society.
In echoing Prime Minister Turnbull's comments, Elizabeth said:
“The commitment of the Australian Prime Minister to facilitate free trade and movement of skilled labour as soon as Brexit allows, will be a major boost to the Digital economies of the UK and Australia, as both currently face a significant skills shortage and increased global competition. Encouraging greater cooperation and collaboration, and sharing experiences and learnings, is key to building more experienced and mature digital capabilities.”
Robin Knowles, Founder and CEO of Digital Leaders commented:
“We are very excited by the prospect of a stronger commonwealth for the industry. The Digital Leaders community is already growing across the commonwealth nations with DL New Zealand and DL Malaysia growing steadily and DL Australia hopefully launching in 2018.”
Julian David, CEO of techUK also offered a perspective on the meeting:
“The comments from Prime Minister Turnbull are a welcome acknowledgement of the strong links between Australia, the UK and the entire Commonwealth. A UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement can help both our countries get the skills and talent necessary to drive innovation and ensure the UK and Australia remain global hubs for the tech industry. While Brexit still presents significant challenges to the UK tech sector, retaining and improving links with close allies such as Australia must be part of our post-Brexit future.”