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15Jun

UK signs new trade deal with Australia

The United Kingdom has signed a new trade deal with Australia, the first deal to be built from scratch since the UK left the European Union. The new deal will see cheaper sales being made in future on UK products to Australia, such as Scotch whisky biscuits and cars. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison are said to have reached an agreement on the deal’s broad terms during a dinner held on Monday.

Boris Johnson said in a statement: "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." Despite the news of accord, UK farmers have flagged concerns that they may be undercut on price and standards.

This new deal paves the way for a potential Asia Pacific free-trade agreement to be signed, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is an important step forward for the UK in its bid to foment trade relationships in growing economies across the world which lie outside the EU trading bloc. The CPTPP is one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering £9 trillion of GDP and 11 Pacific nations from Australia to Mexico.   

In 2019-20, trade in goods and services between Australia and the UK was valued at £20.1bn. The government says the deal will boost UK industries that employ 3.5 million people across the country. Red tape and bureaucracy will be torn down for more than 13,000 small and medium sized businesses across the UK who already export goods to Australia, with quicker export times.

A final Agreement in Principle will be published in the coming days.

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