20 Dec 2021
The UK has signed an historic trade agreement with Australia, our first from scratch since leaving the EU, setting new global standards in digital and services and creating new work and travel opportunities for Brits and Aussies.
The deal was agreed in principle by the Prime Minister and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in London in June, and negotiators have now finalised all chapters of the agreement.
The final deal was signed in a virtual ceremony by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and will now be laid in Parliament for a period of scrutiny.
The deal is expected to unlock £10.4 billion of additional trade, boosting our economy and increasing wages across the UK, while eliminating tariffs on 100% of UK exports.
It is a deal tailored to the UK economy, with cutting-edge agreements in areas where Britain is a world leader, including in digital and tech, along with increased access to Australia for the UK’s powerhouse service sectors.
This agreement will help create new opportunities for businesses in both the UK and Australia:
- It gives UK firms guaranteed access to bid for an additional £10 billion worth of Australian public sector contracts per year.
- It will allow young people to work and travel in Australia for up to three years at a time, removing previous visa conditions.
- For the first time UK service suppliers including architects, scientists, researchers, lawyers and accountants will have access to visas to work in Australia without being subject to Australia’s changing skilled occupation list. This is more than Australia has ever offered any other country in a free trade agreement.
- The deal removes tariffs on all UK exports, making it cheaper to sell iconic products like cars, Scotch whisky and UK fashion to Australia, while making Australian favourites like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wines, Tim Tams and surfboards more accessible for British consumers.
The deal is also a gateway into the fast-growing Indo-Pacific region and will boost our bid to join CPTPP, one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering £8.4 trillion of GDP and 11 Pacific nations from Australia to Mexico.