Brexit news: Ex Australian PM warns Boris Johnson ‘be careful’ of EU trade deal ‘friction’

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Mr Turnbull suggested the World Trade Organization (WTO) terms would be an undesirable barrier for UK exports. He said: “We have a deal with the EU on WTO terms and here are really some very large barriers to Australian trade with Europe which we are seeking to address as we negotiate a free trade agreement with Europe.

“But Australians would not regard out trade relationship with Europe as being a satisfactory one.”

Mr Turnbull pointed out that the trade terms largely affect agricultural goods.

He added: “There are very big barriers to Australian exports and agricultural products in particular.

“…There’s a lot of friction in the system in terms of services, so there’s a lot to aim for.”

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The former Prime Minister, who was in office from 2015 to 2018, added: “Be careful what you wish for.

“Australia’s relationship with the EU is not one from a trade point of view … that Britain would want, frankly.”

But Mr Turnbull’s remarks sparked outrage among some viewers, with some taking to social media to denounce his claims.

One Twitter user said: “This man is a ‘former’ Prime Minister for a reason and the UK would be better off not listening to him.”

Another person added: “Be warned, Turnbull is a rich socialist and he was one of the most hated and unsuccessful PMs in Australia’s history. His opinion matters zilch.”

A third person said: “He must be wrong. What does he know. Get IDS on now!”

Mr Turnbull’s warning came after Mr Johnson said the UK should “go for the Australia solution” as he highlighted it was time to “get ready” for a potential No Deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson had told his Cabinet to “get on and make those preparations” for leaving without a trade agreement.

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But he added negotiators would “go the extra mile” to get a deal in time for the end of the transition period on December 31.

Mr Johnson said: “It was put to me that this was kind of a bit like twins, and the UK is one twin the EU is another, and if the EU decides to have a haircut then the UK is going to have a haircut or else face punishment.

“Or if the EU decides to buy an expensive handbag then the UK has to buy an expensive handbag too or else face tariffs.

“Clearly that is not the sensible way to proceed and it’s unlike any other free trade deal.

“It’s a way of keeping the UK kind of locked in the EU’s … regulatory orbit.”

He added: “I do think we need to be very, very clear.

“There is now a strong possibility – a strong possibility – that we will have a solution that is much more like an Australian relationship with the EU than a Canadian relationship with the EU.”

Downing Street said the Cabinet largely supported the Prime Minister’s viewpoint.

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