London: Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull said here on Tuesday that the focus of the visit with the British government has been continuing our work in the fight against terrorism.
Turnbull was addressing a press conference. he said it was very moving to visit, with British Prime Minister Theresa May, the London Bridge and the Borough Market to see where those brave young Australian women were killed and to see the men, the police officers that sought to revive them.
The Australian Prime Minister said that he admires the resilience of that community and the determination of the British people and of course all the Australians that are part of this community, not to be cowed by terrorism; to stand up, defy them and defeat them as we are doing in the field and as the Metropolitan Police did in the Borough Market where we stood.
Briefing the media on his meeting with Queen Elizabeth; the republic; innovation; trade; emissions; Liberal Party, Turnbull especially spoke about his “successful visit” to the G20, to France and to the United Kingdom.
The G20 Summit was able to secure unanimous support for a strong statement on counter-terrorism and in particular on ensuring that there will not be ungoverned spaces online. The rule of law will prevail online and offline, Turnbull said and asserted that this is a very strong commitment.
Turnbull talked of his meeting with President Jokowi of Indonesia. He gave his commitment to concluding an Australia-Indonesia trade agreement by the end of the year.
We are working to get a free trade agreement with the European Union, Turnbull said adding he had a meeting with the President of the Commission and the European Council, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker. They made a commitment too, supported by other European leaders like Chancellor Merkel, President Macron and others, to get that agreement settled before Britain leaves the EU sometime in 2019.
Earlier in his remarks at a business roundtable breakfast on Tuesday, Turnbull underscored the mutual trust, shared values and historic ties between the UK and Australia and said both nations are committed to driving strong economic growth.
Turnbull said there is no more trusted relationship at every level than we have with the UK. Whether it is at the level of family – most Australians have some ancestors in the UK and about five per cent of Australians were born in the UK – and of course our security ties.
The Prime Minister recalled spending part of Monday with the former head of MI5 in the Cobra Briefing Room underneath Whitehall with the Joint Intelligence Committee. Once there, Turnbull said, it did occur to him that 30 years ago, if he had found his way into a basement under Whitehall, he might not have been let out.
Turnbull also said: “I’m sitting next to the former head of MI5. There were days when your predecessors wouldn’t have liked to have been with me.”
Emphasisng the importance of trust, shared values, shared interest, the Australian PM said “our growth, our economy, is much more diverse than it’s ever been. It is very much driven by our access to the big Asian markets, not just in exporting commodities, but services, agricultural products, food products. The economic growth in Tasmania for example, which has had tough economic times for a long time, is entirely driven by the export opportunities we’ve created.”
Focusing on his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, the Australian leader said that he had expressed great optimism for what she was going to achieve in the post-Brexit environment because of her commitment to Britain being an open trading economy, open to the world, recognizing just as the Australians do that the more opportunities there are for businesses to get out there and grow, the more opportunities for other businesses to come and invest with us and partner with us, and the stronger we’ll be.