Ranil Jayawardena, Minister for International Trade, told Express.co.uk Britain could be soon add to its growing list of agreements with countries across the globe as an independent trading nation. Not only will the UK Government have completed one of its main targets within its portfolio if it secures a deal, but it is hoped the agreement will help the UK surge ahead with its recovery from the pandemic. Armed with newfound agility outside of the EU, the minister added the Department for International Trade hopes to have the agreement in principle as early as June.
However, after a “major breakthrough” in talks last week, he believes the trade deal will deliver for all parts of the UK economy and be a win for both nations.
He added: “Well, we will never put an arbitrary deadline and the reason for that is will always stand up for the British national interests.
“So we will only agree a deal where we are convinced that in our national interest it will deliver for every corner of our country.
“But we have made, as you rightly say, major breakthroughs over the past few days.
“And agreement is now insight.
“And it is a deal we believe that will deliver for Britain on top of our economy and is a win for both nations.
“We are bullish on the prospects of the deal. We think it will help us emerge stronger than the pandemic.
“But of course, we’re not going to set any arbitrary deadline on it.
Although no deal was agreed last week, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, claimed the two sides were in a sprint towards the finish line following talks with her counterpart, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan.
She said: “We have made major breakthroughs over the past few days and an agreement is now in sight.
“I want to thank Dan personally for the contribution he has made and for his desire to get this deal done.
“This is a deal that will deliver for Britain and all parts of our economy.
“It is a win-win for both nations.
“It is a fundamentally liberalising agreement that will support jobs across the country and help us emerge stronger from the pandemic, strengthening ties between two democracies who share a fierce belief in freedom, enterprise and fair play.