Trade agreement with the UK moves closer to implementation

  • Media release

The Australian Government welcomes today's release of the report by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) which recommends the Government take binding treaty action to bring the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement into force.

The Australia-UK FTA is a gold standard trade agreement that will drive increased trade, two-way investment, economic growth and job creation. The agreement will enhance our already strong economic partnership with the UK and will contribute towards Australia's export diversification and economic recovery from COVID-19.

The Agreement represents substantially increased opportunities for market access for Australian exporters, particularly agricultural exporters. When it enters into force, over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports will enter the UK duty free, including sheepmeat, beef, dairy, sugar and wine.

Building on our strong people-to-people links, the Australia-UK FTA includes measures designed to increase the mobility of skilled workers and young people in both directions. It also includes commitments to liberalise access to all service sectors, including professional services, business services, financial services and telecommunication services.

The Agreement is innovative, with a world-first chapter dedicated to promoting innovation and an Australian-first chapter to enhance women's access to the full benefits of trade and investment. It is the first wholly new free trade agreement the UK has completed since it left the European Union.

The Agreement includes commitments to maintain high labour standards and support efforts to tackle forced labour and modern slavery.

The Government expects broad support on legislation to implement the Agreement in Australia must pass both Houses of Parliament next week.

The Australia-UK FTA will enter into force for both countries after Australia and the UK have confirmed with each other in writing, that they have completed their respective domestic requirements.

The JSCOT report on the Australia-UK FTA can be found here.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell:

“We have worked hard to expeditiously advance parliamentary processes to enable entry into force of the Australia-UK FTA as soon as possible.”

“This morning I had an introductory call with the new UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Kemi Badenoch. I congratulated her on her role and gave her an update on the fact that were in a position to finalise our parliamentary processes next week.”

“Given the enthusiasm from former government ministers, we expect full support from the Opposition benches in both chambers, when the legislation goes to a vote next week.”

“This deal is crucial for boosting our growth. It will strengthen our economy by providing new opportunities for Australian importers, exporters, farmers, producers and consumers.”

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: 02 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555