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You are here: Home >news >Post Brexit deal? Australia-UK trade talks to begin “as soon as possible”

Post Brexit deal? Australia-UK trade talks to begin “as soon as possible”

2019-09-19 foodingredientsfirst

Tag: Brexit trade agreement Exporters


The UK and Australia have committed to a rapid and enterprising free trade agreement and later today will agree to begin trade negotiations as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU on October 31. A possible deal could lead to opportunities for exporters on both sides, with British whisky producers potentially benefiting from lower tariffs.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is in Canberra, Australia, today wher she will meet with senior politicians including Simon Birmingham, the Australian Trade Minister.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Truss said: “It’s great to be in Australia this week as it is one of our highest priorities for a post-Brexit trade deal. And with good reason – trade between our two countries was worth £16.6 billion (US$20.6 billion) in the year to March 2019, and we have more than £46 billion (US$57.3 billion) invested in each others economies.

“Now, for the first time in nearly half a century, we are taking back control of our trade policy. I want to see an ambitious trade deal that reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers for UK exporters.”

Truss stressed that Britain cannot afford to wait and will be ready to trade after Brexit. 

“It’s good to see that Australia is going to be quick off the mark and it’ll be mirrored by the UK under our new government,” she added.

Approximately 15,000 UK businesses export their goods to Australia and the Department for International Trade has helped many of these businesses to secure contracts to export their goods and services to Australia. 

Some examples include British online supermarket pioneers Ocado partnering with retail giant Coles to bring cutting edge technology to Australia, transforming online shopping and delivery for customers. Additionally, UK-based Bradbury & Son selling its cheese in Australian supermarkets Coles and Woolworths.

Despite already strong trade links, there are still trade barriers holding British businesses back, notes the Department for International Trade. Some UK exporters face tariff barriers into Australian markets, it says.

“Our business in this market is truly one of the great partnerships and collaboration between the UK and Australia, built on iconic founder brands like Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Gordon’s and Cardhu,” says David Smith, Diageo Australia Managing Director. “Going back to 1887, Australia was the first international market for Johnnie Walker. But there remain barriers of up to 5 percent on some spirits and we very much look forward to a UK-Australia free trade agreement.”

The UK government’s negotiating strategy will be based on a large-scale public consultation that involves more than 146,000 people and organizations sharing their views about a future UK-Australia free trade agreement.


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