Today I announce the appointment of The Hon George Brandis QC as Australia’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Australia’s warm and long-standing relationship with the UK is built on deep historical ties, shared values and closely aligned strategic, security and economic interests. People of British descent are our largest migrant community. The United Kingdom is our fourth largest source of visitors, with over 700,000 British tourists to Australia in 2017.

The strong economic relationship between Australia and the United Kingdom continues to grow. The United Kingdom is Australia’s second-largest source of foreign investment, worth $515.5 billion in 2016, and our fifth-largest two-way trading partner, with $27.5 billion in goods and services in 2016-17. Australia and the United Kingdom will pursue an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement.

Mr Brandis has had a distinguished political career in Australia as a member of the Federal Parliament. His appointments have included Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Leader of the Government in the Senate, Federal Minister for the Arts, and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Mr Brandis holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford, a Bachelor of Laws (First-Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (First-Class Honours) from the University of Queensland.

I thank outgoing High Commissioner, The Hon Alexander Downer AC, for his significant contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in the United Kingdom since 2014, and also for his distinguished career advancing Australia’s foreign, trade and development interests over a lifetime of public service.

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