On Thursday 27 May, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham and Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands MP responded to an urgent question in the House of Commons regarding the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia.
The Minister of State for Trade Policy at the Department for International Trade responded to an array of questions from Members across the House including tariff exports, animal welfare, food standards, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and more.
An extract from the Minister’s statement is included below:
“Our trade agreement with Australia is very likely to be the first from-scratch deal that we have struck outside the European Union. It is a major milestone for global Britain and a major prize secured for our newly independent trade policy. It is on course to slash tariffs on iconic UK exports, saving business potentially about £115 million a year.
The deal will be the most advanced that Australia has struck with any nation bar New Zealand, and will, we expect, be particularly forward-leaning in areas such as services, procurement and digital trade. It will be a great deal for the UK, and our farmers will continue to thrive. The agreement is a gateway into the massive CPTPP—comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership—free trade area in the Asia-Pacific, and opens doors for our farmers into some of the biggest economies of now and the future.
Our food is among the best in the world and incredibly competitive. We should be positive, not fearful, of the opportunities that exist for our agriculture and our farmers. We give the EU preferential trading terms, which I do not recall those on the Opposition Benches objecting to. We should be unafraid of giving our Australian cousins something similar, taking the chance to deepen trading ties with one of our closest friends and allies.”
The full session can be read here.