UK and Australia have signed their historic free trade agreement

Posted on 17 Dec 2021 14:12 . Feather

It is a “historic” agreement, the first one achieved by London after leaving the European Union, which is not merely a renewal or adaptation of those that exist between the EU and other countries. Announced in June, the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed on Thursday, opening the doors for London to the Asia-Pacific region.

The text, which will be submitted for review by British parliamentarians, should generate “an additional £10.4 billion in trade”. […] By eliminating customs duty at 100% of [leurs] export”.

Trade between the two countries amounted to £13.9 billion in 2020, accounting for over 1% of the UK’s total trade. In 2019, the UK was Australia’s fifth largest trading partner.

work visa in australia

The agreement will “create new work and travel opportunities for Britons and Australians”, underlines the British government. British professionals in the service sector, including architects, lawyers or researchers, will have access to work visas in Australia. “This is more than Australia has offered a free trade agreement to any other country,” the Department for International Trade said.

The agreement should also make it possible to abolish customs duties of 20% by weight on Australian beef exports. This aspect has raised concerns from British farmers who fear competition from Australian meat, which is cheaper and has more flexible health standards. To reassure breeders, the text provides for a limit on the import of British soil without customs duties for fifteen years, exclusively through quotas, the British government said in June. However, the latter did not give details on the agricultural component when the treaty was signed.

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Brexit supporters win

The deal is a victory for Boris Johnson, who called for leaving the European Union on the promise that Britain would have more economic potential by going it alone, citing his concept of a ‘global Britain’. London thus welcomes a text “tailored for the British economy”, particularly in areas where the country is “a world leader, such as technology and digital”. The United Kingdom is also counting on the agreement to open the doors to the Trans-Pacific Trade Treaty (CPTPP), which brings together eleven countries from Asia and the Americas.

Environmental NGOs do not view the agreement in the same way. Greenpeace estimates that this would lead to “one of the worst impacts not only on the climate but on a country that is one of the main world centers of deforestation”. It would also run contrary to London’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.

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