Australia and UK to ink historic free trade agreement

Headshot of Lanai Scarr
Lanai ScarrThe West Australian
Australia and the UK will sign a historic free trade agreement on Friday.
Camera IconAustralia and the UK will sign a historic free trade agreement on Friday. Credit: AP

Australia and the UK will sign a historic free trade agreement on Friday.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan will announce the agreement which will see 99 per cent of goods sent from Australia to the UK have tariffs removed.

The deal is worth $10 billion and will save Australian households $200 billion on imports.

The free trade agreement has been a long-running negotiation between Australia and Britain and means australia is the first country to sign up to an FTA post Brexit.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed it in the US in September and also in Rome on the sidelines of the G20.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan and British Trade Minister Anne Trevelyan will sign the agreement on Friday.

Under the deal the age limit of working holiday visa holders will be increased from 30 to 35 for up to three years in each country.

Around 75 per cent of two way trade will be covered by free trade agreements.

Australia was vying with the US to be the first country to sign up to a FTA following Brexit.

The deal comes after Australia, the UK and the US signed up to AUKUS to solidify a tripartite defence agreement.

The three countries will share defence intelligence and technology under the deal including australia getting access to nuclear submarines.

Australia and the UK have strong business partnerships.

British firm BAE has significant ship building projects and is vying for the nuclear submarine contract.

The PM visited BAE’s shipyards in Glasgow during his visit for the COP26 Climate Conference.

CEO of BAE Systems Australia, Gabby Costigan said the FTA would “further support growth in the Australian market through enabling the better mobility of highly skilled workforces from Australia and the UK and the mutual recognition of qualifications”.

“The free trade agreement also further enables the transfer of IP and technology, which is essential for the complex and nation-building programs our company supports in Australia and the UK, including West Australia and BAE Systems Australia’s Henderson shipyard,” Ms Costigan told The West Australian.

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