Credit: Original article can be found here
Iain Dale mocks EU for ‘not managing’ to get deal with Australia
And with International Trade secretary Liz Truss now turning her attention to New Zealand, a former MEP has said the glacial pace at which the bloc moves comes as no surprise, having witnessed how it operates from the inside. The new Free Trade Agreement means British products such as cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia, boosting UK industries that employ 3.5 million people across Britain.
The UK-Australia trade relationship was worth £13.9 billion last year and will grow still further as a result of the deal, boosting opportunities for businesses and producers in every part of the UK.
However, the speed at which it has been struck – ie in less than six months – is in marked contrast to Brussels’ attempts to get something similar off the ground, an analysis by the pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU has shown.
Facts4EU referred to a report published in 2019 entitled Australia and the European Union: Trends and Current Synergies which refers to an “exchange of letters between the European Commission and Australia suggesting a Framework Agreement to achieve common goals” in 1995.
A document published by the European Commission on January 31, 1996 proposes a “new framework with Australia”, explaining: “Part of this approach would consist of a trade and cooperation agreement promoting trade and investment as well as cooperation in a diverse range of areas such as industry, employment, training and consumer protection”.
However, little appears to have happened until January 2018, when the bloc confirmed talks for a “broad trade agreement” were underway between Cecelia Malmstrom, the European Commissioner for Trade, and Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister.
Liz Truss’s success in securing an Australian trade deal contrasts with Ursula von der Leyen’s EU
Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson at Downing Street this week
I can testify first-hand how slow the EU is at negotiating trade deals having overseen them directly as an MEP
Ms Malmstrom stepped down from her post in 2019, and Mr Turnbull was replaced by Scott Morrison three years ago.
Facts4EU’s report suggests the eleventh round of talks is scheduled this month, with any deal likely to need to be ratified in 35 upper and lower chambers and parliaments across the EU27.
David Campbell Bannerman, who was as an MEP for the Tories and UKIP for a total of 17 years, and who served on the EU’s trade committee for a decade, told Express.co.uk: “I can testify first-hand how slow the EU is at negotiating trade deals having overseen them directly as an MEP.
“On Australia and New Zealand: The EU’s extraordinary demand to interfere in human rights and other political areas in related deals drove both counties away, quite rightly.
Malcolm Turnbull was replaced by Scott Morrison in 2018
“Canada’s CETA deal nearly collapsed over the EU seeking to determine how long Canadians could be kept in prison without trial.
“This is the EU using trade to leverage political control and it isn’t pretty.”
He added: “I worked directly on the New Zealand deal and assisted Australia. They have been going on for years, whilst India and the Gulf have stalled and the USA deal cut right back after the failure of the big TTIP deal.
“A nimbler, less protectionist, pro-free trade UK is showing the way and leaving the EU behind.”
Jeremy Corbyn slammed for ‘shameful’ vaccine comments [REVEAL]
Trade POLL: Australia trade deal signed – do you support it? VOTE HERE [INSIGHT]
EU caves! VDL running scared of Biden promises to compromise on Brexit [SPOTLIGHT]
Australia’s exports to the UK accounted for 40 percent of its total to the EU28 in 2018
Australia’s trade deficit with the EU
Figures from the EU, Australia’s Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Australian sales to the UK accounted for 40 percent of its total exports to what was then the EU28, Facts4EU pointed out.
Facts4EU’s David Evans, who wrote the report, said: “The good news for Australia is that the EU’s loss is Australia’s gain.
“When the UK was freed from the EU’s common commercial tariff and protectionist policies, it became an even more attractive destination for Australian companies selling their goods and services.
“Naturally it’s still worth Australia pursuing a trade deal with the EU27, if it can get them to reduce their protectionist high tariffs and the other barriers on so many goods that Australia would like to export to them.
Trade agreements by country
“At the current rate of slow progress, however, this does not look like happening any time soon.”
He said: “With regard to the new UK-Australia trade deal, the ‘usual suspects’ amongst the Britain-bashing, pro-EU lobby in the United Kingdom have been highly vocal in their opposition. This is interesting mainly because the precise terms of the deal have not yet been published.
“It is also notable that none of these complainer-remainers seem to be concerned about the massive quantity of exports sent over the Channel by the EU, which completely dwarf any possible exports by Australia to the UK.
“These imports to the UK include food products and livestock. We find it odd that the pro-EU National Farmers Union seems to have no concerns whatsoever about the impact of the EU27 countries dumping their wares on the UK.”
Cecelia Malmstrom stepped down in 2019
Speaking in 2018, Ms Malmstrom said: “I look forward to adding Australia to our ever-expanding circle of like-minded trade partners.
“In challenging times, it is heartening to see that Australia shares our commitment to a positive trade agenda, and to the idea that good trade agreements are a win for both sides.
“The result of our negotiations will be an agreement that offers clear benefits for both the EU and Australia.
“It will boost economic opportunity for businesses, both big and small, and create jobs.”