After Britain leaves the European Union | Signing of a free trade agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom

(London) The United Kingdom on Thursday signed a post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement with Australia, a compromise that should open the door to the Asia-Pacific region, but it was criticized for uncertainty over its usefulness and environmental impact.


Veronique Dupont
France media agency

The “historic” deal, which was ratified in a virtual ceremony, was the subject of a preliminary agreement in June between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, and “negotiators have now completed all seasons,” according to a statement from Britain. Department of International Trade.

This is the first agreement that London has since its exit from the European Union, and it has been in effect since 1is being January, it doesn’t have to be just a renewal or adaptation of the ones between the EU and other countries.

The text, which will be presented to Parliamentarians for consideration in Westminster, is expected to generate “an additional £10.4 billion from trade. […] Eliminate tariffs on 100% of [leurs] exports”.

Trade between the two countries was £13.9 billion in 2020, just over 1% of total UK trade.

The agreement sets “new global standards in digital services, and will create new work and travel opportunities for Brits and Australians”, the British government asserts.

London boasts a script “tailored to the British economy” especially in areas where the country is “a global leader, such as tech and digital”.

British professionals in the service sector, particularly architects, lawyers or researchers, will be able to obtain visas to work in Australia: “This is more than Australia has ever offered to another country in the FTA,” the Department for International Trade welcomes.

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This compromise “strengthens our chances of joining the Trans-Pacific Trade Treaty (CPTPP)”, which brings together 11 countries in America and Asia and weighs “£8,400 billion in GDP”.

The head of the CBI employers’ organisation, Karan Pelemurian, hailed the “comprehensive and state-of-the-art” agreement that “opens new horizons for British businesses”.

Breeders’ concern

The UK has already had agreements with the European Union, its largest trading partner, Japan and New Zealand, or with non-EU European countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The country is discussing with India and began negotiations on a free trade agreement with the six Gulf Arab states in early October and is also seeking to strengthen its trade relations with the United States, without being able to stall for the time being. from Washington.

Boris Johnson had advocated leaving the European Union by promising that the UK would have more economic potential on its own, and by promoting his concept of “Global Britain”, or “Global Britain”.

For its part, the NGO Greenpeace regretted agreeing to the text “not yet published” which would have “not only one of the worst impacts on the climate, but with a country that is one of the major global centers of deforestation”, which runs counter to Britain’s environmental goals in London , which aims to be carbon neutral in 2050.

During negotiations between the two countries, the British agricultural sector was concerned about competition from Australian products, such as beef and lamb, which are cheaper with more industrial farming and with looser health standards.

To reassure breeders, the text provides for a duty-free 15-year limit on imports on British soil, mainly through quotas, the British government said in June, which did not provide details about the farming shutter in its Thursday press release.

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London and Canberra have indicated that they also want to deepen their cooperation in the security aspect, as evidenced by the partnership concluded between the United States, called AUKUS, which angered Paris by canceling a contract to buy French submarines. worth 55 billion euros with the Australians.

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