Australia opens trade talks with Britain during election campaign?

A report in the UK Sun (Murdoch, but directly quoting a government minister, presumably accurately) quotes UK saying that “senior politicians in [Australia and South Korea] had called [seeking trade deals with the UK] in the past 48 hours“. If that’s true, it seems like a spectacular breach of the caretaker conventions.

From Wikipedia, the relevant part of the conventions

The Government ordinarily seeks to defer major international negotiations, or adopts observer status until the end of the caretaker period.

17 thoughts on “Australia opens trade talks with Britain during election campaign?

  1. Doesn’t seem very spectacular to me. But yes, I presume doing it properly you’d involve the Opposition.

  2. Seems to me it’s simply politician’s doing what they’re paid to do, instead of poncing around the country campaigning. I’m sure the Opposition is in the loop.

  3. Not much point for our caretaker government in its last few days to open talks with an outgoing administration. Moreover, the incoming Boris Johnson administration will have many decisions to make before dealing with this approach

  4. Seems likely to me that Mal rang Dave and they had a quick chat more along the lines of “when this blows over our countries should have a chat”. They can’t do much more, but expressions of goodwill seem appropriate. One trusts Mal mentioned it to Bill, and Dave talked to Liz, BoJo and Jer as well, rather than just Nigel. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find it was just the two of them.

  5. @Moz of Yarramulla

    Yair, it does really hinge on what exactly that “[seeking trade deals with the UK] means and who the “senior politicians” were (and are) – Sajid Avid didn’t name any names.

    But it could, at this point in time, be nothing much more than putting in a placemarker so we don’t get sent to the back of the queue. However, even if we ar egoing for some kind of “trade agreement” with Britain, what would it be about ? Do you reckon the poms might want to buy a lot of fine merino again, or maybe take a lot of gold to bolster Threadneedle St again ?

  6. Let’s see to what extent this is trumpeted over the few days left – if a lot then it will be to make some political mileage (kilometerage?) out of events in Britain. As for conventions – those increasingly look like something for the other side to adhere to or face a storm of criticism, but to be ignored by our “mature and adult” LNP because when they do it it must be, by the fact that they are doing it, for the good of the nation!

  7. It really means there’s a conspiracy and everyone in the know already knows who is going to win the Australia election. I can’t wait until our resident conspiracy theorist explains it all to us. 😉

  8. Well, if Brexit is made official (Article 50), then the soon to be elected Prime Minister of Australia isn’t going to talk with Boris as UK PM because Boris Johnson has announced that he has withdrawn his candidacy.

    Resolving uncertainty, every day a little bit more, until something else happens.

  9. @Jim Rose

    “the incoming Boris Johnson administration ”

    But it seems that, according to the Guardian, “Michael Gove has ambushed Boris Johnson with a surprise entry into the Conservative leadership battle, a decisive move that killed off the former London mayor’s long-held ambition to succeed David Cameron as prime minister.”

  10. And, George Soros, after having lost money on the Pound Sterling since the Brexit vote (he was “long” in this currency) was invited to speak to the EU Parliament! [Source smh, 1/7/2016]

    What next?

    For the non-Finance readers of this blog, or as a reminder, George Soros, made 1 billion Pound profit being “short” on the Pound a few years after Thatcher’s ‘big bang’. 1 billion wealth transfer in, if I remember correctly, 1992.

    JQ, this is only one example why your belief that income inequality must preceed wealth inequality is not necessarily true in a deregulated (‘free market’) economy with financial securities.

  11. “JQ, this is only one example why your belief that income inequality must preceed wealth inequality is not necessarily true in a deregulated (‘free market’) economy with financial securities.” E.G.

    Ernestine, I agree with the spirit of your statement. I am not sure about the letter of it. Doesn’t this almost come down to a matter of definition? Wealth is a stock. Income is a flow. An asset which appreciates in real terms or a financial bet which gains a windfall both generate these as an inflow of money ( as money or assessed value) in the year of assessment. Tax treatments will differ of course and tax law can assign any terminology it likes so long as it is consistent. Depending on how I define “income” I can certainly make JQ’s view correct. I feel I would have to make some odd or awkward definitions to make your view correct.

    The point, as always in my view, is to compare income from personal effort (work) to income form doing nothing (owning shares or watching an asset accrue capital value and maybe utilising the latter for greater borrowing or realising the gains then or later by sale or some other action).

  12. Since when was organizing talks about talks a breach of anything? Making an agreement would be a breach caretaker conventions until after Australia’s election.

    PS: What kind of “economist” gets upset with countries talking about trade deals?

  13. “What kind of “economist” gets upset with countries talking about trade deals?

    One who doesn’t need quotation marks for his qualification.

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