The United Kingdom and Australia have agreed to a free trade agreement. The agreement was signed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a dinner on Monday night. The agreement has now been confirmed by both parties.
The British government was very eager to reach an agreement with Australia. The country wants to demonstrate its ability to create new economic opportunities after leaving the European Union. It is the UK’s first major trade deal since Brexit with a country with which it did not have an existing agreement as an EU member. The deal is also important 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 of the United Kingdom, accounting for more than 1 percent of the total trade volume. The deal aims to increase the size to over £20 billion (about €23.3 billion). Prime Minister Johnson said: “Our new free trade agreement provides great opportunities for UK businesses and consumers.”
Details of the agreement have not yet been revealed. Last month it was said that there were 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 the country’s farmers to compete. Tariffs on products such as whiskey, clothing and cars are also expected to be reduced.
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