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LONDON — The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday that it had reached a “historic” post-Brexit trade deal with Australia.
It is the first agreement obtained by London that is not simply a renewal or adaptation of those that exist between the EU and other countries, according to a Downing Street statement.
The main elements of the deal were agreed upon by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison during negotiations in London on Monday evening, Downing Street has confirmed. The final agreement will be published “in the coming days.”
“Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values,” Johnson said in a statement.
Downing Street said the agreement means iconic British products like cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia but that British farmers will be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards.
The deal also enables British citizens under the age of 35 to travel and work in Australia more freely.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan had earlier said that the agreement “is a win for jobs, businesses, free trade and highlights what two liberal democracies can achieve while working together,” Tehan added.
The UK was Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner in 2019 with trade between the two countries totaling 13.9 billion pounds ($19.6 billion) last year.
The British government also argued the deal with Australia is also “a gateway” to the Indo-Pacific region and will boost its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which gathers 11 Pacific nations including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The agreement is Australia’s 15th free trade agreement.