We'll get on with Boris' replacement: Pyne

Miranda Forster

Australia will have as good a relationship with Jeremy Hunt - the UK's new foreign secretary - as it had with his predecessor Boris Johnson, federal minister Christopher Pyne predicts.

In London for defence industry talks with the UK, Mr Pyne said the government's priority was to ensure Australia secures a free trade agreement with the UK.

"Our priority around Brexit is to ensure that Australia secures a free trade agreement with the UK that's as beneficial to both countries as possible, as soon as possible," Mr Pyne said on Tuesday.

He added that Boris Johnson was "a great friend to Australia" and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in particular had a good relationship with him.

"And we'll have as good a relationship with Jeremy Hunt," Mr Pyne said.

Mr Johnson resigned on Monday as the fallout from British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans continued.

Earlier the same day Brexit secretary David Davis relinquished his post while on Tuesday two further Conservative MPs stepped down.

Ms Bishop has said she will miss Mr Johnson and is keen to continue Australia's strong relationship with the UK under Mr Hunt.

Ahead of an annual ministerial meeting between the two countries, Ms Bishop also said Australia wants to see stability and wants to continue working with the UK government on matters of concern.

"That includes a free trade agreement when the time is appropriate," Ms Bishop said in Canberra on Tuesday.

She said it had not yet been worked out whether AUKMIN - the annual ministerial meeting between Australia and the UK - would proceed in its current format.