Australia, UK ready to agree deal: Bishop

Australia and Britain are ready to agree a free trade deal as soon as circumstances allow, foreign minister Julie Bishop says.

British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, hosting his first bilateral meeting since being appointed to the role earlier in July, said he had discussed a future trade deal with his visiting Australian counterpart.

"Both governments stand ready to agree a free trade agreement as soon as circumstances allow," Bishop said at a British-Australia meeting in Edinburgh.

Britain wants to secure free trade deals with new partners following its departure from the European Union in March 2019.