UK, Australia agree post-Brexit free trade deal

16 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

LONDON: Britain has agreed its first major post-Brexit free trade deal with Australia, London announced Tuesday, adding that they plan to “intensify cooperation on security, climate change and science and tech”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal “marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by ... shared history and common values”.

“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.

The UK government said in a statement that the deal eliminates tariffs on all British goods “in the first major trade deal negotiated from scratch” since the country left the European Union, report agencies.

A final “agreement in principle” will be published in the coming days, it added. The UK-Australia trade relationship was worth £13.9 billion (US$19.4 billion) last year and is set to grow under the deal, the statement said.

The deal eliminates tariffs on imported Australian goods such as wine, swimwear and confectionery, it added. Going the other way, British products including cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia. It comes after the two nations addressed issues surrounding the farming sector.

British farmers will be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards. “We are also supporting agricultural producers to increase their exports overseas, including to new markets in the Indo-Pacific,” the UK said.