‘We can compete on quality!’ Tory MP hails post-Brexit Australia trade deal success

Boris Johnson discusses new trade deal with Australia

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The historic deal with Australia is the first trade agreement created from scratch since the UK left the EU. However, British farmers and unions have expressed concern that livelihoods may be put at risk over fears cheaper Australian meat products that fall short of the UKs food standards will overshadow their British counterparts.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Conservative MP Mike Wood, reassured farmers that they should have nothing to fear.

He said: “Things like chlorinated chicken or hormone fed beef are illegal to put on sale in the UK and they will remain illegal to be put on sale in the UK. No trade deal can change that.

“It will need changing the law for the UK which isn’t going to happen.”

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister confirmed the trade deal would be a “new dawn” for the UK’s relationship with Australia.

Boris Johnson said: “Our new free-trade agreement opens fantastic opportunities for British businesses and consumers, as well as young people wanting the chance to work and live on the other side of the world.”

Mr Johnson also reassured British farmers that they will be protected by “a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards.”

Mr Wood continued to express his confidence in British products and their ability to shine on the world stage.

He said: “I’ve got every confidence in British farmers to be producing some of the best products in the world and actually we should be looking at how we can be exporting those products.

“Whilst they’re certainly not always the cheapest, we can compete on quality with any other country in the world.

“We’re seeing that in markets in the far east and I see no reason why British farmers shouldn’t be looking to export to Australia as part of this deal.”

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, reinforced Mr Johnson’s position on the trade deal, emphasising the new trade deal will lead to more jobs in both countries.

Details of the deal are expected to be released in the coming days.

The deal stands to be a pivotal moment in the UK’s post-Brexit trade negotiations as it opens the doors to other trade possibilities.

The Government believes that membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will allow the UK to profit from trade agreements with at least ten other countries.

The UK was approved into the exclusive Trans-Pacific trade bloc earlier this month.

Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said the decision “will help shift our economic centre of gravity away from Europe towards faster-growing parts of the world and deepen our access to massive consumer markets in the Asia Pacific.”

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BBC Newsnight host, Emily Maitlis, raised the fact that the UK would need 2,000 free trade agreements with Australia to offset the impact on British GDP for leaving the EU single market.

However, Mr Wood said it was important not to “downplay a trade deal with one of our oldest friends and partners.”

He said: “Of course the significance is that this is the first trade deal negotiated from scratch with a country that the EU – despite our close historic and cultural links – didn’t have an agreement with at all.

“It is sending a clear signal that post-Brexit Britain sees its role out in the world trading more widely.

“We’re looking now at the CPTPP agreement – I mean that’s 11 of some of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies.”

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