The UK and Australia have agreed the broad terms of a trade deal with further details being revealed later today, according to reports.
It will be the UK’s first trade deal negotiated from scratch post-Brexit and was said to have been agreed by the two countries’ Prime Ministers - Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison - over dinner in Downing Street on Monday.
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At a glance: 5 key points
- If confirmed, the agreement would be the first trade deal negotiated fully since the UK’s exit from the European Union.
- The UK Government has estimated the positive impact of the deal on Australia’s gross domestic product – the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year – as being somewhere between 0.01% and 0.06%.
- Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan reportedly called the pact a “win for jobs, businesses, free trade and highlights what two liberal democracies can achieve while working together”.
- However, industry leaders raised concerns over possible compromises on food standards, while farmers fear they could be undercut by cut-price imports.
- Farming unions have previously said that the proposals would drive UK farmers out of business, while environmental groups have said that allowing hormone-treated beef to be flown into the country would be a violation of commitments made in the Conservatives’ manifesto.
What’s been said
“Both prime ministers will come together in London to make sure that they can announce it, but the details of that are being finalised now.
“It’s important to get this right. As the Prime Minister said, we don’t need to rush this, but we’ve been able to leverage the strong relationship we have with the UK to get to an in-principle agreement, but those details have to be finalised in the coming hours.
“But that’s an exciting thing for not only Australian agriculture, but for our economy.”
Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud
Trade in goods and services between the two countries was valued at £20.1 billion in 2019-20.
The biggest exports from Australia to the UK include metals, wine and machines, while Australia’s main imports from the UK are cars, medicines and alcoholic drinks.
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