Published: 04:48, 15 June 2021
| Updated: 08:12, 15 June 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to unveil details of the UK’s first trade deal negotiated from scratch post-Brexit.
He will welcome his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, to Downing Street on Tuesday after the two countries agreed the broad terms of the pact.
The deal is reported to have been sealed by the two premiers over a dinner of Scottish salmon and Welsh lamb in Downing Street on Monday.
It will be the first trade deal negotiated fully since the UK’s exit from the European Union.
The UK Government has estimated the positive impact of the deal on Australia’s gross domestic product – the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year – as being somewhere between 0.01% and 0.06%.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who held talks in London earlier this year with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, has called the pact a “win for jobs, businesses, free trade and highlights what two liberal democracies can achieve while working together”.
Australian British Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer David McCredie tweeted that the deal will create “many great opportunities for trade, investment and collaboration”.
But industry leaders have raised concerns over possible compromises on food standards, while farmers fear they could be undercut by cut-price imports.
A split in the Cabinet also appeared between Ms Truss and Environment Secretary George Eustice, who has concerns about the impact on farmers.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, meanwhile, harbours fears that a deal could fuel demands for Scottish and Welsh independence.
But former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who sits on the UK Board of Trade, told GB News he is confused “that so many people in Britain are always running the country down”.
“Britain can cope. And a trade deal with one of Britain’s friends … that’s no threat to the people of Britain, this is going to help the people of Britain,” Mr Abbott added.