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Following a dinner last night between UK PM Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, the UK and Australia have officially concluded a full free trade agreement, the first brand new bilateral deal (as opposed to a rollover of an EU deal) achieved by the UK since it left the European Union.

  • While the deal is not expected to add a significant amount to headline GDP (0.02% over 15 years), but benefits are likely to be felt in areas on both sides currently subject to significant tariffs. There is also the prospect of soft power benefits accruing from a more relaxed work visa regime for young Britons seeking work in Australia and vice versa.
  • The heads of the devolved national gov'ts of the UK have demanded scrutiny of the deal not only in Westminster, but also in their national parliaments.
  • A significant area of concern for the first ministers of Scotland and Wales in particular - given their outsized agricultural sectors in comparison to England - will be what protection is offered to farmers in the deal. The brief released announcing the deal says that farmers will be "protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards", but it remains to be seen what this will offer in practice.

FTA Announcement Below:

Source: UK Government

MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 |

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