Turnbull rules out cutting Asia trip short

Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out returning early from Asia to deal with the dual citizenship crisis which is engulfing his government.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has thrown the TPP into limbo after failing to attend the trade meeting.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has thrown the TPP into limbo after failing to attend the trade meeting.

The Turnbull government has lost its parliamentary majority following the resignation of Liberal MP John Alexander over his possible British links.

The absence of Mr Alexander and former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, who are both facing by-elections, will not topple the government.

But Labor and the crossbench could combine to cause trouble when parliament returns later this month.

Mr Alexander's resignation was another blow to the prime minister during his visit to Vietnam for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Mr Turnbull's hopes of finalising a trade pact between Australia and 10 other nations were scuttled after Canada baulked at the last minute.

Negotiators scrambled to salvage the deal after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau snubbed a leader's meeting, infuriating Australia and humiliating others.

Hours later, Mr Turnbull held "frank and plain-speaking" talks with his Canadian counterpart to express his disappointment.

The 11 countries involved have since agreed to resume discussions, but the prospect of a concrete agreement now appears a long way off.

"The parties have agreed to keep talking but time will tell. That's all I can say," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Da Nang on Saturday.

"You get setbacks with trade negotiations, it happens all the time. The important thing is to be determined, persistent and resilient and focused on Australia's national interest."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership suffered a major setback when Donald Trump withdrew the United States.

Australia will walk away from the APEC summit with a free trade pact with Peru that will eliminate nearly all tariffs faced by exporters into the Latin American country.

But the boost for Australian cane growers, farmers and mining services firms has been completely overshadowed by the citizenship saga suffocating Canberra.

Mr Turnbull is piling pressure on Labor MPs facing questions about their citizenship to step down from parliament and contest by-elections.

He is being much less forthright with independent MP Rebekha Sharkie, whose eligibility is also in question, but whose support is critical to the government.

Mr Turnbull insisted he was still delivering stable government and would "absolutely not" consider cutting his trip short.

The prime minister will fly to Hong Kong on Saturday night before continuing on to the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

"These are very important meetings, huge priorities," Mr Turnbull said.

"That's where Australia has to be present and that is a time when the leader has to be present."

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