Britain signs its first major post-Brexit trade deal with Australia.


Britain and Australia have agreed “in principle” free trade AgreementThe British government on Tuesday announced an agreement that would eventually eliminate tariffs between the two countries.


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It is Britain’s first major trade deal since leaving the European Union and the deal was struck within a year of negotiations.

Details of the agreement have not yet been published, but the government said it would include a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, aimed at appeasing British farmers worried about a flood of beef and sheep imports from Australia . The deal would remove Australia’s 5 percent tariff on Scotch whiskey exports. The government said the agreement would allow Britons under the age of 35 to travel and work in Australia.

“This is a fundamentally liberalization agreement,” Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss said in a statement. “It removes tariffs on all British goods, opens up new opportunities for our service providers and tech firms, and makes it easier for our people to travel and work together.”

The deal was finalized over a dinner at Downing Street, the residence of the British prime minister, on Monday, as Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, is in Britain after a group of 7 meetings.

The free-trade agreement has been fully negotiated since the UK formally left the European Union in January 2020. Britain has recently signed several other trade agreements, but these, such as with Japan, mostly replicate pre-Brexit market access.

The Australia deal is part of Britain’s broader trade ambitions, which include joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Donald J. Trade agreement signed by 11 countries after Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Australia is a founding member of the agreement, and the process of joining the UK began in early June.

Since Brexit, Britain has been eager to prove that it is an outward-looking nation, actively embodying its “Global Britain” slogan. But the urgency with which it seeks to write new trade agreements has recently been attacked by food and agriculture groups, who fear the government will allow in products with lower production standards.

National Farmers Union Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said the industry had been told there would be safeguards in the deal, but did not have “more details on what they would mean in practice.”

One of the main concerns for farmers in Scotland is that Australians use a ranching system that allows mass production, with more cattle in less space than is allowed in the UK, Mr Walker said. It could ease Scottish beef farmers. He said the Australian trade deal alone was not the biggest problem, but feared that trade negotiators in New Zealand and the United States would want to reiterate the deal.

“We see this as the beginning of great difficulties ahead for the industry in the United Kingdom,” said Mr Walker.

In Australia, the deal has been welcomed by the meat and wine industries, with the two industries expected to benefit the most from the agreement.

“This is just the tonic the Australian wine sector needs as it moves quickly to transform itself after the market in China was shut down by imposing prohibitive tariffs,” said Tony Battlogne, chief executive of Australian Grapes and Wines, of the country. The National Association for Wine Producers, said.

“This is a great opportunity for the Australian red meat industry,” said Patrick Hutchinson, chief executive of the Australian Meat Industry Council.

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