17/07/2016 11:10 AM AEST | Updated 17/07/2016 12:02 PM AEST

Turnbull To Fast-Track Trade Deal With UK

The PM is making the deal a priority before the UK leaves the EU.

Stringer . / Reuters
Malcolm Turnbull says he working on a new trade deal with the UK.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australia will work towards a new trade agreement with Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union.

Speaking on Sunday, Turnbull said he spoke with new British Prime Minister Theresa May to congratulate her on taking the UK's top job and open talks on trade.

"I... spoke yesterday with the new Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May, and congratulated her on her appointment as Prime Minister. We did discuss a free trade agreement," he told reporters in Sydney.

"Clearly our free trade arrangements with the United Kingdom are with the European community, so as Britain leaves the EU, what we will need to do is negotiate direct arrangements with Britain.

"We need to get moving on that quickly."

The PM was in Sydney on Sunday for the return of HMAS Darwin from the Middle East.

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