Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Details of UK-Australia post-Brexit trade deal 'being finalised now'
15 June 2021, 07:42
The details of a UK-Australia trade deal are "being finalised now" and will be revealed on Tuesday, a senior Australian minister has said.
The two countries have reportedly agreed the broad terms of the post-Brexit agreement, with Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud telling reporters more information will presented in London at around 9am on Tuesday.
"Both prime ministers will come together in London to make sure that they can announce it, but the details of that are being finalised now," Mr Littleproud said.
"It's important to get this right. As the Prime Minister said, we don't need to rush this, but we've been able to leverage the strong relationship we have with the UK to get to an in principle agreement, but those details have to be finalised in the coming hours.
"But that's an exciting thing for not only Australian agriculture, but for our economy."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison were said to have agreed the pact over dinner in Downing Street on Monday.
Downing Street did not deny the reports and, if confirmed, the agreement would be the first trade deal negotiated from scratch since the UK's departure from the European Union.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who held talks in London earlier this year with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, calling the pact a "win for jobs, businesses, free trade and highlights what two liberal democracies can achieve while working together".
Australian British Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer David McCredie tweeted the deal would create "many great opportunities for trade, investment and collaboration".
But industry leaders have raised concerns over possible compromises on food standards, while farmers fear they could be undercut by cut-price imports.
A split in the Cabinet also appeared between Ms Truss and Environment Secretary George Eustice, who has concerns about the impact on farmers.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, meanwhile, harbours fears a deal could fuel demands for Scottish and Welsh independence.
But former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who sits on the UK Board of Trade, told GB News he was confused "that so many people in Britain are always running the country down".
"Britain can cope. And a trade deal with one of Britain's friends ... that's no threat to the people of Britain, this is going to help the people of Britain," Mr Abbott added.