Australia and the United Kingdom are set to announce a free trade agreement Tuesday as Britain continues to forge new economic relationships post-Brexit.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will detail the plan during London morning hours at 10 Downing Street, a Morrison spokesperson told CNN Business.
“Their agreement is a win for jobs, businesses, free trade and highlights what two liberal democracies can achieve while working together,” the spokesperson said, adding that the countries intend to finish drawing up the deal by November and enact it by July 2022.
The United Kingdom has been brokering new trade arrangements since leaving the European Union early last year. Brexit created massive uncertainty for Britain, raising fears about how well the country would be able to strike deals with its most critical trading partners, or risk facing enormous trade barriers.
The UK reached a deal late last year with the European Union, one of its most critical economic partners. Britain has also negotiated with the United States on some issues — including suspending some tariffs — but a broader deal with Washington remains elusive.
The economic impact of Britain’s agreement with Australia is likely to be quite small, according to Mark Melatos, an associate professor of economics at the University of Sydney.
UK farmers had been expressing frustration over whether a deal would hurt their business by allowing for cheap imports of agricultural goods. But Melatos said any concessions on agriculture would likely be phased in over a long period of time, and would probably include safeguards to protect farmers from being undercut from cheap imports to the United Kingdom.
“I think the thing to watch for are the mooted concessions on human movement between the UK and Australia, including relaxing visa requirements for travel and mutual recognition of professional qualifications,” he said.
— Simran Vaswani contributed to this report.