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UK-Australian officials meet as Britain seeks trade deal

Associated Press Associated Press 9/09/2016

LONDON — Senior British and Australian ministers are meeting to reaffirm the countries' close bonds — a day after another Australian official said the relationship with the U.K. belonged to "yesteryear."

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defense Secretary Michael Fallon are holding talks Friday with counterparts Julie Bishop and Marise Payne.

Britain wants to make the case for a strong bilateral trade deal after the U.K. leaves the European Union.

Supporters of a U.K. exit hope to strike lucrative arrangements with other countries once Britain leaves the 28-nation bloc.

Others say that may be tricky. Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo on Thursday called his country's historical tie with its former colonial ruler "a relationship of yesteryear," and said any agreement with Britain would come after an Australia-EU trade deal was sealed.

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