UK, Australia agree post-Brexit free trade deal

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

In 2017, Labour grandee Andrew Adonis said it was "folly to even try" negotiating bespoke deals post-Brexit given a lack of negotiators.

Those arguments have rung hollow. Other deals have been rolled over from previous agreements.

British farmers will be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards.

"The UK will liberalise Australian imports with 99 per cent of Australian goods, including Australian wine and short and medium grain milled rice, entering the UK duty free when the agreement enters into force".

Boris Johnson has said he is also supporting farmers to increase their exports overseas, by opening up new markets in the Indo-Pacific.

The government listed out the benefits of the deal as helping Scotland by removing tariffs of up to 5 per cent on Scotch whisky; tariffs will be removed and customs procedures simplified on machinery and manufacturing goods; and auto manufacturers in the midlands and north of England, including Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover, will see tariffs of up to 5 per cent cut, expected to boost the demand for their exports.

The UK exported 5.4 billion pounds worth of services, including 1.4 billion pounds of insurance and pension services and 780 million pounds of financial services, to Australia in 2020.

U.K. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said Australian beef imports would be a "pretty small" portion of U.K. consumption.

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It will also scrap a requirement for British backpackers to work on Australian farms for 80 days before extending their visas. "This is not a standard cookie cutter agreement".

She said: "The interests of Scottish farmers and crofters have been completely sidelined by the Tory government throughout these negotiations - and there remain serious concerns over the negative impact this deal will have on Scotland's agricultural industry".

The move creates a shortfall of 10,000 workers, which Mr Littleproud says will be plugged by a new agriculture visa with 10 ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Britain earlier this month announced a free-trade agreement with three European countries not in the EU - major fishing neighbour Norway as well as Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Since then a string of agreements have been signed with other countries and today's tie-up with Australia is the latest to prove the country is able to handle talks on its own. Full details of the agreement will be released this week.

"It is also crucial that our Welsh MPs scrutinise this deal very carefully and consider what it will mean in real terms for the Welsh family farms and rural communities they represent".

Last month, Mr Johnson insisted a free trade deal with Australia should be seen as an "opportunity" and not a "threat" despite fears among United Kingdom farmers the agreement could put them out of business.

The UK hopes to conclude more trade deals in the Asia Pacific region.

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