PWithin six months of Brexit being implemented, the United Kingdom has finally reached a trade agreement with Australia. This is not simply an amendment to an existing agreement or an adaptation of what is already in place between the EU and other countries. “Today marks a new era in UK-Australia relations,” with a free trade agreement offering “fantastic opportunities for British businesses and consumers,” prime minister Boris Johnson said in a Downing Street statement.
The British leader agreed the outline with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday evening in London. The deal is expected to be published in the coming days and must be signed later. It would allow all British goods to enter Australia without customs duties, and benefit the automotive sector, Scotch whisky, biscuits and other ceramics. Trade between the two countries was 13.9 billion pounds in 2020.
A deal to reassure British farmers
The deal also seeks to protect British farmers worried about competition from Australian products such as beef and lamb with more flexible hygiene standards, the statement said. There is a limit on imports on British soil without customs duty for 15 years, including through quotas. The government also wants to help British agricultural producers find other export opportunities, including in the Indo-Pacific region.
London hopes the agreement with Australia will make it easier to open the doors of the Trans-Pacific trade agreement (CPTPP), which brings together 11 countries from the United States and Asia, and authorised the United Kingdom in early June to begin the process of joining this wider free trade area.
The United Kingdom It has already secured agreements with the European Union and Japan and is discussing with India and New Zealand. Negotiations are planned with Canada and Mexico. While progress may seem trivial at the moment, London is still looking to secure a trade deal with the US. This was not mentioned in the minutes of a meeting between Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden on Thursday on the occasion of the G7 in Cornwall (in the south-west of England).