Christopher Whiteside MBE is Conservative County Councillor for the Egremont North and St Bees Division of Cumbria County Council. The division includes St Bees, Bigrigg, Wood End, Moor Row, part of the Mirehouse area of Whitehaven, and surrounding countryside.
He is also Chairman of the North-West region of the voluntary wing of the Conservative party.
Chris lives and works in Copeland with his wife and family.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Trade deal with Australia signed
A major trade deal with Australis has been signed. This is a big deal.
Today marks a new dawn in our relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values.
Our historic new free-trade agreement – the first major trade deal negotiated from scratch since we left the EU – will create fantastic opportunities for British businesses and consumers, removing tariffs on all British goods, opening up new markets for our services providers and tech firms, and making it easier for people to travel and work together.
This is global Britain at its best – looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and helping ensure every part of our country builds back better from the pandemic.
Our new free trade agreement with Australia will do this by:
Eliminating all tariffs on our imports and exports to Australia, boosting jobs and businesses across the country. Iconic British products like cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia, boosting UK industries that employ 3.5 million people across the country. The deal also eliminates tariffs on Australian favourites like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wines, swimwear and confectionery, boosting choice for British consumers and saving households up to £34 million a year.
Making it easier for people to travel between the UK and Australia, strengthening the historic ties between our two countries. Under the agreement, British people under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely, opening up exciting opportunities for young people.
Supporting and protecting British farmers, so they can benefit from new trading opportunities. British farmers will be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards. We are also supporting agricultural producers to increase their exports overseas, including to new markets in the Indo-Pacific.
Improving market access and cutting red tape for UK businesses, opening up new opportunities for them. The deal’s commitments on market access for services professionals, cutting-edge digital provisions and reduced barriers to investment will benefit the UK’s services sector. Red tape and bureaucracy will also be torn down for more than 13,000 SMEs across the UK who already export goods to Australia.
Delivering for every part of our Union, levelling up and creating opportunity across the country. This includes:
Scotland exported £126 million of beverages to Australia in 2020 – this deal will help distillers by removing tariffs of up to 5 per cent on Scotch Whisky.
More than 450 businesses in Wales exported to Australia last year – and life science companies and chemicals manufacturers are set to benefit in particular.
90 per cent of all exports from Northern Ireland to Australia are machinery and manufacturing goods – used extensively in Australia’s mining, quarrying and recycling sectors. Under the new FTA tariffs will be removed and customs procedures will be simplified.
Agreeing to intensify co-operation between our countries, so we can build back better and stronger together. We have reaffirmed the enduring partnership between the UK and Australia during these negotiations, and have committed to working closely together on defence, technology collaboration and tackling climate change – including through a future Clean Tech Partnership.
Negotiating the first major trade deal from scratch since we left the EU, showing the opportunities we now have as a sovereign trading nation. We have already signed almost 70 trade deals worth almost £900 billion into law – but our trade deal with Australia is the first one negotiated from scratch, showing how we can use the new opportunities available to us outside of the EU to deliver for the British people.
The ten key benefits of our new trade deal with Australia:
Delivering tariff free trade for all British goods. The deal removes tariffs on £4.3 billion of exports, making it cheaper to sell iconic products like cars, Scotch whisky and ceramics into Australia – supporting 3.5 million jobs across the country. Car makers in the Midlands and the North of England will also benefit.
Making it easier for Brits to travel and work in Australia. British people under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia for up to three years, opening up major opportunities for younger people. Highly skilled professionals will now be able to work in Australia temporarily, and Aussie firms will no longer have to prioritise hiring Australian nationals first.
Delivering lower prices and more choice for British shoppers. The elimination of tariffs on Australian favourites like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wines, TimTams and Vegemite will boost choice for British consumers and save British households up to £34 million a year.
Enhancing access for British tech companies. The deal will create opportunities for the UK’s cutting edge digital and tech sectors, preparing us to lead in industries of the future like AI, space exploration and low emissions technology.
Making it easier for lawyers and other professionals to work in Australia without re-qualifying. UK lawyers will be able to practice in Australia without having to requalify as an Australian lawyer. The deal will allow for the recognition of UK professional qualifications across many sectors, creating opportunity for our professionals while allowing British companies to attract and retain global talent.
Boosting UK services industries. The UK exported £5.4 billion worth of services to Australia in 2020 accounting for more for 56 per cent of our total exports to the country. The combined effect of the deal’s cutting-edge provisions, allowing UK and Australian service professionals access to each other’s markets, and reduced barriers to investment will give a substantial lift to the UK’s service sectors.
Slashing red tape for entrepreneurs and small business. Red tape and bureaucracy will be torn down for more than 13,000 small businesses across the length and breadth of the UK who already export goods to Australia. The agreement will deliver quicker export times and ensure small business have access to new intelligence that will better allow them to seize the opportunities created by the deal.
Creating access to billions of pounds worth of new opportunities for UK firms. British companies will now be able to bid for additional Australian government contracts. It is the most substantial level of access Australia has ever granted in a free trade agreement, including in transport and financial services.
Strengthening cooperation on shared challenges. Australia is a like-minded democracy that shares our belief in free enterprise, the rule of law, and high standards in areas like labour, animal welfare, gender equality and the environment. The deal will uphold these high standards and foster collaboration on challenges like tackling climate change and unfair trading practices.
Paving the way to CPTPP. (see below) Australia strongly supports UK membership of CPTPP, which would further open up eleven Pacific markets worth £9 trillion. CPTPP membership will secure British exports superior access to these growing markets, with one third of middle class consumers expected to be in Asia by 2030.
CPTPP stands for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as TPP11, which is a trade agreement among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Britain has applied to join and Australian support for our application is most welcome.