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UK agrees first post-Brexit trade deal with Australia

·2-min read

Watch: Britain and Australia agree a trade deal

The UK and Australia have unveiled the first trade deal negotiated from scratch since Brexit. 

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison met with British counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday at Downing Street, following the G7 summit. 

PA reported that it was agreed over a dinner of Scottish salmon and Welsh lamb in Downing Street the day before. 

The free trade deal will eliminate tariffs on Australian favourites like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wines, swimwear and confectionery, boosting choice for British consumers. The government estimated it could save households up to £34m a year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, during the G7 summit in Cornwall. Picture date: Saturday June 12, 2021.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson greets Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, during the G7 summit in Cornwall. Photo: PA

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

The deal offers people under the age of 35 the opportunity to live and work in Australia and removes barriers for businesses. 

The UK-Australia trade relationship was worth £13.9bn ($19.6bn) last year and is set to grow under the deal.

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"Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values," said Johnson. 

"Our new free trade agreement opens fantastic opportunities for British businesses and consumers, as well as young people wanting the chance to work and live on the other side of the world.

"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."

Read more: European markets rise as investors digest lockdown extension and positive jobs numbers

There will be quotas on tariff-free agricultural imports into the UK from Australia for 15 years as part of the agreement. The text of the agreement in principle will be published in the "coming days". 

The UK was Australia’s fifth largest trading partner in 2019. The estimated impact of the deal on Australia's GDP is somewhere between 0.01% and 0.06%. 

Issues remain that some industry leaders have raised concerns over potential food standards compromises. Farmers also fear they could be undercut on prices with discount imports. 

Watch: Raab welcomes Australian PM Scott Morrison in Westminster

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