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Britain and Australia have held “productive” talks in the second round of trade negotiations, laying the groundwork for an initial exchange of tariff offers, the UK trade ministry says.

“Both sides shared draft chapter text or papers outlining their preferred approach, and the groundwork was laid for an initial exchange of tariff offers,” it said in a statement on the negotiating round that ended on October 2.

Representatives from the two countries have been holding discussions via video conference.

“Both countries are committed to removing trade barriers and creating new opportunities for business, and believe a deep and dynamic agreement can send a clear signal to the world that both the UK and Australia are prepared to fight protectionism and advance free and fair trade,” the UK statement added.

“The UK and Australia are both keen to continue the momentum of discussions and the third negotiating round is expected to take place in November”.