Brexit bonanza as historic Australia trade deal marks ‘new dawn’ for British car industry

Brexit: UK 'wanted to be in charge' says Widdecombe

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK had secured the historic deal this morning following a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in London. The deal, dubbed the Free Trade Agreement, will eliminate tariffs on all UK goods, while boosting jobs and businesses across the country. The agreement will also mean British cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia, which could help increase these industries employ 3.5 million people across the country.

Car manufacturers in the midlands and north of England will also see tariffs of up to five percent cut to help increase demand for their exports.

Mr Johnson said today that the deal showed “global Britain at its best”.

He 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.”

Australian Minister for Trade Dan Tehan added the meeting between the two leaders had been “positive”.

He said in a statement: “Both prime ministers have held a positive meeting in London overnight and have resolved outstanding issues.”

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

The UK is already Australia’s eighth-largest trading partner.

Total trade between the UK and Australia was worth £13.9billion in 2020.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, hailed the new deal before adding it could unlock future trade agreements elsewhere.

She said: “This deal delivers for Britain and shows what we can achieve as a sovereign trading nation.

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“It is a fundamentally liberalising agreement that removes tariffs on all British goods, opens new opportunities for our services providers and tech firms, and makes it easier for our people to travel and work together.

“The agreement paves the way for us to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a £9trillion 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.”

Michael Gove described Ms Truss as a “tough” and “shrewd” negotiator who will be looking at “what’s best for Britain” in discussing deals with other countries.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s Liz Truss who’s negotiating these trade deals, and anyone who knows Liz knows that she’s not going to roll over when another country says ‘We want this particular concession or we want that particular arrangement just because you gave it to someone else’.

“She’s going to say ‘Look, I’m going to decide what’s best for Britain’.

“She is a tough, principled, shrewd and effective negotiator. I don’t think anyone would mistake Liz for a patsy.

“And so other countries shouldn’t imagine that in the negotiation of trade deals we will be anything other than determined to get the best deal for Britain’s producers, and also for UK consumers as well, because one of the things about trade deals is that overall they should reduce the costs that consumers face.”

National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, added the deal will be beneficial for post-Brexit growth.

He said: “A trade deal with Australia will come as great news for many of our members who have long been exporting there as well as those who are hoping to expand their trade ambitions.

“As we look beyond the pandemic and enjoy the benefits of post-Brexit growth, deals like this will reap vast rewards to small firms right across the UK.

“Around 40 percent of UK small firms who trade internationally do so already with Australia, and a trade deal that could be worth up to £900 million will only increase those numbers.

“The inclusion of a small business chapter in this agreement will also ensure that the needs of smaller businesses are fully catered for in the years to come.”

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