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Despite the intense sporting rivalry and the strong cultural ties between the UK and Australia, there is one aspect which has a huge deficit - visas and immigration.

But that might be about to change.

According to News Corp Australia, more Australians could live and work in the UK under a new visa deal being thrashed out to reverse a “discriminatory” British Government immigration policy.

With Tony Abbott currently visiting London, work is reportedly being done on a compromise to counter EU laws that have forced the UK to slash the number of migrants it can take from outside Europe - currently capped at 20,000.

It's much needed. The decline in the numbers of Australians living in the UK are striking. In 1999, 40,000 Australians lived in the UK whereas in 2011, 26,000 remained.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has publicly branded the current visa system as discriminating against Australians.

Writing in the Telegraph last year, he launched a lengthy and passionate defence of Aussies and their plight proclaiming, “It is time for Britain and Australia to set up a bilateral Free Labour Mobility Zone.”

"We British are more deeply connected with the Australians – culturally and emotionally – than with any other country on earth," said Johnson.

He then recalled a story about an Australian teacher working in London's Tower Hamlets named Sally Roycroft who was told to leave the UK, calling her situation "disgraceful" and that he was "infuriated" with Roycroft's predicament.

"She is Australian; and she has been told to bog off by the authorities in our country because it was, they said, too much of a palaver to go through the business of 'sponsoring' her to stay."

"It would be good for the UK, where skilled people like Sally would no longer face an absurd discrimination." Johnson suggested in the column.

"It would be good for Australia, where the unspoken reality is that Australians are actually quite keen to encourage more immigration from Britain, and it would be a small but practical way of intensifying British links with the growing economy of Oceania.

"It would be an assertion that we are no longer thinking of ourselves as little Europeans, run by Brussels, but as a country with a truly global perspective.

"I suppose there might be some objection from the EU – but they should be told firmly to stuff it."

TNT has long campaigned for change, highlighting the plight of hardworking Antipodeans who have been forced to put their lives on hold due to ridiculous red tape. 

Image via Getty


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Is it about to be made easier for Aussies to stay in the UK?
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