United Kingdom agrees first post-Brexit trade deal with Australia

  • United Kingdom agrees first post-Brexit trade deal with Australia

United Kingdom agrees first post-Brexit trade deal with Australia

Britain and Australia have agreed on a free trade deal that will be released later Tuesday, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said.

"Both prime ministers have held a positive meeting in London overnight and have resolved outstanding issues" in relation to the trade pact, Tehan said in a statement.

"It's also important to us that trade with Australia is now tariff-free for Scotch whisky - our preference is always for tariff-free trade, which enables Scotch whisky to compete on a level playing field and on the strength of our reputation for quality".

"It's important that we maintain protections and support for farmers, but it's also the case that opening up trade barriers, bringing them down and opening up the opportunities, provides our farmers with the chance to show on the world stage the unbelievable quality of United Kingdom produce", Gove told Sky News.

"This is global Britain at its best - looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and help ensure every part of the country builds back better from the pandemic", he added.

British cars, Scotch whisky and confectionery will also be cheaper to sell in the tariff-free agreement.

An FTA with Australia is also a gateway into the fast-growing Indo-Pacific region and will boost our bid to join CPTPP, one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering £9 trillion of GDP and 11 Pacific nations from Australia to Mexico.

Secretary of State for worldwide trade Liz Truss said: "This deal delivers for Britain and shows what we can achieve as a sovereign trading nation".

Speaking to reporters after details of the deal were revealed, Mr Johnson said the deal does protect British farmers - there had been fears the deal could compromise on food standards and undercut by cut-price imports.

Scotland exported £126 million of beverages to Australia in 2020, and the deal now removes tariffs of up to 5 per cent on Scotch whisky.

Membership will create unheralded opportunities for our farmers, makers, innovators and investors to do business in the future of engine room of the global economy.

The government listed out the benefits of the deal as helping Scotland by removing tariffs of up to 5 per cent on Scotch whisky; tariffs will be removed and customs procedures simplified on machinery and manufacturing goods; and vehicle manufacturers in the midlands and north of England, including Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover, will see tariffs of up to 5 per cent cut, expected to boost the demand for their exports.

"We believe there should be meaningful safeguards for sensitive sectors such as beef, sheepmeat and sugar", Nick von Westenholz, director of trade and business strategy for the National Farmers' Union (NFU), told POLITICO's Morning Trade UK. "Australian farming allows the use of 71 highly hazardous substances and thousands more types of pesticides that are now banned in the U.K".

The deal will pave the way for more Australians to live and work in Britain and offer exporters more market options.

The UK has imported about 33,500 tonnes of beef from Australia since 2013, according to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

In the next steps, the UK Parliament will scrutinise the FTA once the text is published, along with an impact assessment.