Thank you for contacting me about the proposed free trade agreement with Australia.
Australia is one of the UK’s closest allies. We share a head of state, the same language and the same values. Our people also enjoy deep and historic links of kinship and friendship, arguably unlike any other two nations in the world.
A trade deal with Australia is an enormous opportunity for the UK. We are Australia’s second largest trading partner outside the Asia-Pacific and trade between our two countries was worth £18.8 billion in 2019 alone.
I appreciate that you have concerns about the impact of a trade deal with Australia and its effect on food standards in particular. I can assure you that our food standards will never be lowered in pursuit of a trade deal and our farmers will not be undercut by this deal. Our world-leading animal welfare standards will be upheld throughout our trade negotiations and the Trade and Agriculture Commission will provide independent scrutiny of animal welfare in trade deals.
Analysis suggests that UK exports to Australia could increase by up to £900 million if a trade deal is agreed. A deal would remove tariffs on all UK exports to Australia and create new provisions on digital, mobility, services, investment and procurement, bringing new opportunities for the whole United Kingdom. I can also assure you that Parliament will scrutinise any deal in the usual way.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.
Sally-Ann Hart MP