The United Kingdom and Australia have agreed on a free trade agreement. The deal was signed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a dinner Monday night. Both parties have now confirmed the agreement.
The British government was very keen to reach an agreement with Australia. The country wants to show its ability to create new economic opportunities after leaving the European Union.
It is the UK’s first significant trade deal since Brexit with a country with which it did not have an existing agreement as an EU member. The deal is also significant because it will set the terms for future negotiations with other countries such as the United States and New Zealand.
Australia is a relatively small trading partner for the United Kingdom, accounting for over 1 percent of the total trade volume. The deal is intended to increase volume to above the current £20 billion (approximately EUR 23.3 billion). “Our new free trade agreement offers great opportunities for UK businesses and consumers,” said Prime Minister Johnson.
The details of the agreement have not yet been released. Last month there were said to have been divisions among British ministers over the terms of the deal with Australia. Some were concerned that a tariff- and quota-free agreement would make it difficult for farmers in the country to compete. Tariffs on products such as whiskey, clothing and cars are also expected to be lowered.