The trade deal between UK and Australia has been signed – but farmers have called it a “one-sided deal”.
The deal was signed in a virtual ceremony by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan last night (December 16) and will now be scrutinised by Parliament.
Ms Trevelyan said: “Our UK-Australia trade deal is a landmark moment in the historic and vital relationship between our two commonwealth nations.
“This agreement is tailored to the UK’s strengths, and delivers for businesses, families, and consumers in every part of the UK – helping us to level up. We will continue to work together in addressing shared challenges in global trade, climate change and technological changes in the years ahead.
“Today we demonstrate what the UK can achieve as an agile, independent sovereign trading nation.
“This is just the start as we get on the front foot and seize the seismic opportunities that await us on the world stage.”
The agreement gives UK firms guaranteed access to bid for an additional £10 billion worth of Australian public sector contracts per year and allows 18-35-year-olds to work and travel in Australia for up to three years at a time, removing previous visa conditions.
However, NFU President Minette Batters said: “As we feared following the agreement in principle, there appears to be extremely little in this deal to benefit British farmers.
“We will analyse the detail in full but on the face of it, this is a one-sided deal.
by Lisa Young / South West Farmer