UK and Australia agree on broad terms of trade deal

The broad terms of a trade deal between the UK and Australia have been agreed, the BBC understands, with a formal announcement expected on Tuesday.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian PM Scott Morrison agreed on the deal over dinner at Downing Street. This is the first trade deal to be negotiated from scratch since the UK left the EU.

It is seen as an important step towards the UK joining a wider Asia Pacific free-trade agreement. The UK government has signed a long list of trade deals over the past year, but they have been rollovers of those the UK already had as part of the EU.

UK farmers also have concerns that there will be no meaningful safeguards to stop farmers from being undercut by cheap imports. Farmers in Australia are allowed to use some hormone growth promoters, pesticides, and feed additives that are banned in the UK.

According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost of production and could undercut farmers in the UK. Scotland had raised worries about the farming industry being overwhelmed if the market was flooded with lower standard goods.

-BBC

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