A free trade agreement between the UK and Australia has been reached. This constitutes an enormous opportunity for the UK: we are Australia's second largest trading partner outside the Asia-Pacific and trade between our two countries was worth £18.8 billion in 2019.
The agreement will eliminate tariffs on all UK goods and will support jobs and businesses across the country. People under the age of 35 will also be able to travel and work in Australia more freely. Further details on the deal will be released shortly.
British farmers will also be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years through the use of tariff rate quotas and further safeguards. The Trade and Agriculture Commission will provide independent scrutiny of animal welfare in the deal ahead of its ratification.
Every part of the UK is set to benefit from the agreement. Scotland, for instance, exported £126 million worth of beverages to Australia in 2020 and the deal will help distillers by removing tariffs of up to 5 per cent on Scotch Whisky. Machinery and manufacturing goods account for 90 per cent of exports from Northern Ireland to Australia and the deal will remove tariffs and simplify customs procedures. The more than 450 businesses in Wales that exported to Australia last year will also benefit from the deal.