PM to reveal details of post-Brexit agreement with Australia

Liz Truss poses with a union flag umbrella as she takes visits Syndey to promote post-Brexit Britain

Liz Truss poses with a union flag umbrella as she takes visits Syndey to promote post-Brexit Britain - Credit: Twitter

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 on 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”.

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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 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.

MPs are yet to learn the detail of the agreement, with politicians unable to scrutinise the deal until leaders have signed on the line.

A Department for International Trade spokesperson previously told this newspaper: "We have always been clear parliament will be able to scrutinise Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) following signature, rather than at the stage where agreement in principle is reached.

"The Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) advice will form part of this scrutiny process for future FTAs, including the proposed FTA with Australia. Our scrutiny processes are among the most robust and transparent in the world."

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