The template deal puts a stake in the ground for the type of country Britain is becoming: an outward looking, global trading nation
Article for the Telegraph on 15th June 2021 by Matthew Lesh
The UK has agreed a historic trade deal with Australia that shows what can be achieved by a sovereign trading nation.
This is the first entirely new deal since Brits voted to leave the European Union almost five years ago. It marks a turning point. No longer is an independent trade policy a theoretical opportunity, it is now a practical benefit to Brits.
This deal is a truly comprehensive effort to strengthen relations between two liberal democracies. It will give British consumers access to cheaper Australian wine, swimwear and confectionery. It will give opportunity to UK businesses by removing barriers on exports like cars, Scotch whisky and ceramics into Australia. Cutting customs red tape will make exports and imports easier, cheaper and faster.
Tech and financial services will benefit from easier data flows. There will also be reduced barriers to investment. British firms will find it easier to bid for government contracts in Australia. It will also pave the way for the UK to join the CPTPP – the eleven member Pacific Rim trade deal that includes many key growth economies.
But this isn’t just about business. The deal will link together two peoples separated by the tyranny of distance but bonded by a fundamental kinship. It will be easier for young Brits to live and work in Australia, and vice versa. Professionals like nurses will also no longer need to do additional exams when moving between the UK and Australia.
This is a template setting deal. It puts a stake in the ground for the type of country Britain is becoming: an outward looking, globally trading nation strengthening links with fellow liberal democracies. While the rest of the world turns inward, Britain is going out into the world with a bang.
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