PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 22802

Visit to the United Kingdom

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 20/05/2000

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 22802

From 4 to 8 July I will join former Prime Ministers, as well as serving Premiers, Chief Ministers and others, in a visit to the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the passage through the British Parliament of the Act which created the Commonwealth of Australia and for bilateral discussions with the British Government.

The United Kingdom is a major partner for Australia across the full range of our interests. The strength of the relationship is underpinned by our deep historical and people-to-people ties. The visit will highlight both the shared history of two independent nations and the continued importance and contemporary relevance of the enduring links between our two countries. For example, the United Kingdom is the largest foreign investor in Australia.

My visit is timed to coincide with Australia Week in London, which marks the centenary of passage of the Act of the Parliament which created the Commonwealth of Australia and thus laid the foundation of the modern Australian nation. Australia Week features a very wide-ranging programme of commemorative activities representing the diverse aspects of the modern bilateral relationship, covering the arts, business and our shared history. Parliament, the Lord Mayor and the City of London, and Westminster Abbey are among the many partners who will participate in this unique celebration.

An outline of my London programme is attached. The substantial programme of events commemorating the centenary of Australia’s federation will include:

· a ceremony hosted by the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons, in the Royal Gallery at Westminster;

· a thanksgiving service for Australia at Westminster Abbey; and

· a function hosted by the Lord Mayor of London at the Guildhall.

In recognition of the national significance of this occasion I am pleased that I will be joined in the celebrations to mark the passage of the Act creating the Commonwealth of Australia by: former Prime Ministers Gorton, Fraser, Whitlam and Hawke; the Premiers of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania and the Chief Ministers of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory; the Speaker and the President of the Senate; the Leader of the National Party, Mr Anderson; the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Lees; and the Chief Justice of the High Court.

In my discussions with Prime Minister Blair and key members of the UK government and business community I will be seeking to build on our strong links and shared interests, as well as covering key international issues of mutual interest.

The United Kingdom and Australia have been long-standing and close partners in pursuit of global security and democracy. Most recently, Australia has deeply appreciated the active and early UK support in resolving the situation in East Timor and my visit will provide me with an opportunity to thank Mr Blair personally for this.

My programme in London will also reinforce the significant commercial and investment links between our two countries. As well as being the largest foreign investor in Australia, the United Kingdom is our sixth-largest trading partner. It is by far our largest market in the European Union. In 1999 the United Kingdom was Australia’s eighth-largest export market, with Australian exports amounting to $3.7 billion, and total two-way trade amounting to $9.1 billion that year. In 1999 the United Kingdom was the second-largest destination for Australian foreign investment.

I will also be using my visit to promote Australia’s economic strengths and its potential as a major regional financial centre to British business.

As part of this, I will be addressing senior financial decision-makers, meeting leading UK business people and participating in a breakfast meeting of fund managers organised by the Macquarie Bank.

My programme also includes a number of events marking our extensive educational, cultural and other ties with the United Kingdom, including attending a function for alumni of Sydney University and addressing a conference of historians examining the partnership between Australia and the United Kingdom over the past century.


Tuesday, 4 July

Arrive London.

Meetings with Prime Minister Blair and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Brown.

Address a business dinner as part of a major seminar on Australia as a financial centre being organised by the Australian Centre for Global Finance.

Wednesday, 5 July

Morning meetings to be confirmed.

Lunch hosted by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild for leading British business executives.

Attend Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons.

Attend a function for alumni of Sydney University.

Attend a banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor of London at the Guildhall.

Thursday, 6 July

Meetings with Foreign Secretary Cook and Defence Secretary Hoon.

Attend a ceremony hosted by the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons in the Royal Gallery.

Visit the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition of prominent Australians.

Friday, 7 July

Attend a breakfast meeting with asset and fund managers hosted by the Macquarie Bank.

Attend the Service for Australia at Westminster Abbey.

Address a major conference of historians with the theme, "Australia and Britain 1900-2000 – A Unique Partnership".

Dedicate a plaque at the Menzies Centre, King College.

Attend a major reception at Australia House.

Saturday, 8 July

Depart London.

May 20 2000

Transcript 22802