UK reportedly inks first post-Brexit in-principle free trade deal with Australia

UK reportedly inks first post-Brexit in-principle free trade deal with Australia
# 15 June 2021 13:46 (UTC +04:00)

Britain has reportedly concluded its first “from scratch” trade deal since it exited the European Union following Brexit, APA reports citing Sputnik.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison reached agreement on a free trade deal during negotiations at Downing Street, London, with the details set to be released later on Tuesday, said Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan in a statement cited by AP.

“Both prime ministers have held a positive meeting in London overnight and have resolved outstanding issues in relation to the FTA,” said Tehan, in a reference to the Free Trade Agreement.

Tehan added:

“Their agreement is a win for jobs, businesses, free trade and highlights what two liberal democracies can achieve while working together.”

Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud hailed the deal while speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“The details are being nutted out from the in-principle agreement that our two prime ministers were able to get to last night over dinner. Our departments and the Trade Department are working through feverishly to make sure that an announcement can be made at our time tonight so that Australians will see exactly what is in that in-principle agreement,” he said.

The agreement penned with the UK is Australia’s 15th free trade agreement.

With exchange of goods and services valued at 36.6 billion Australian dollars ($28.2 billion) annually, Britain is Australia’s fifth largest trading partner. According to Tehan, the new deal can potentially boost these figures.

“British consumers are missing out on choosing high quality, well priced Australian products,” said Tehan in Parliament, citing beef and lamb exports which currently account for only 4.3 percent of UK consumption, due to import quotas set by earlier deals.

Tehan emphasized that when Britain joined the European Common Market in 1973, “Australia felt that a special bond was being broken.” Now, post-Brexit, “Australia stands ready again to be a willing partner with the U.K.,” Tehan said.

UK government documents suggest a tariff-free trade deal with Australia could boost GDP by 0.02 %, or £500 million ($914 million), writes The Sydney Morning Herald. Exports to Australia are anticipated to grow by between 3.6 and 7.4 per cent. The forecasts also suggest GDP in Australia could grow by up to £700 million ($1.3 billion).

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