Britain and Australia have finally agreed a trade deal after talks between their prime ministers resolved every outstanding issue, Australia’s Minister for Trade Dan Tehan said.
This trade deal with Australia becomes a priority for Britain for its post-Brexit strategy as it asks to make stronger commercial and diplomatic links in the Indo-Pacific region, but negotiations have dragged on for months.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his British counterpart Boris Johnson came out of the sticking points during bilateral talks after the Group of Seven meeting in Britain over the weekend, which Morrison had attended as a guest.
“Both prime ministers have held a positive meeting in London overnight and have resolved outstanding issues in relation to the [Free Trade Agreement],” Tehan said in a statement.
A formal announcement would happen later on Tuesday, Tehan said.
This trade deal between both the countries will be minutely scrutinised by British farmers, who fear they could be forced out of business if the deal eliminates tariffs on lamb and beef imports from Australia.
Specific details are yet to emerge, official estimates say the agreement could add 500 million pounds ($705.7 million) to British economic output over the long term.
For Australia, several questions are raised on the importance of an economy already focused on Asia.
“This free trade agreement is more about symbolism than immediate tangible material benefits,” said Ben Wellings, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at Monash University.