Trade POLL: UK signs historic trade deal with Australia – do you support it? VOTE HERE

Australia trade deal: Burley quizzes Gove on impact on farming

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Vote in our poll on whether you support Britain’s trade agreement with Australia, which is the first negotiated from scratch since Brexit. And let us know more about what you think in the comments section.

Our poll comes as Boris Johnson has agreed to the broad terms of a free trade deal with Australia.

The Prime Minister and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, announced the agreement on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson hailed the deal as marking a “new dawn” in the UK’s relationship with Australia.

The Prime Minister said: “Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values.

“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.

“This is global Britain at its best – looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and help ensure every part of the country builds back better from the pandemic.”

The two leaders were said to have agreed to the pact over dinner in Downing Street on Monday evening.

And a final agreement in principle is set to be published in the coming days.

British products like cars, Scotch whisky and biscuits are set to be cheaper to sell in the tariff-free agreement.

And Britons under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely – suggesting the farm work requirement on working holiday visas could be scrapped.

But there have been concerns from industry leaders over possible compromises on food standards, while farmers fear they could be undercut by cut-price imports.

Downing Street said there will be a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, while other “safeguards” will be brought in to protect British farmers.

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In the lead-up to the deal being agreed, a split in the Cabinet appeared between International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Environment Secretary George Eustice, who has concerns about the impact on farmers.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove also fears that the agreement could fuel demands for Scottish and Welsh independence.

In a statement, Downing Street stressed the benefits of the deal to all four nations of the UK.

Number 10 said the new agreement will help distillers by removing tariffs of up to 5 percent on Scotch whisky.

It said more than 450 businesses in Wales exported to Australia last year and that “life science companies and chemicals manufacturers are set to benefit in particular”.

For Northern Ireland, Downing Street said that 90 percent of all exports to Australia are machinery and manufacturing goods, with tariffs set to be removed and customs procedures simplified.

The free trade deal is also set to eliminate tariffs on Australian goods like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wines, swimwear, and confectionery, which will save British households up to £34 million a year, according to Downing Street.

Total trade between the UK and Australia was worth £13.9 billion in 2020, while Britain was Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner the previous year.

Downing Street said the agreement will also boost the UK’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Ms Truss said: “The agreement paves the way for us to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a £9 trillion free trade area home to some of the biggest consumer markets of the present and future.

“Membership will create unheralded opportunities for our farmers, makers, innovators and investors to do business in the future of engine room of the global economy.”

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