- The bill would ensure the Government’s willingness to enter into two trade agreements.
- UK businesses can grow and take advantage of greater access to these markets.
- Both the Australia and New Zealand agreements will eliminate tariffs on 100% of UK exports, benefiting UK businesses.
The UK government today introduced a bill that will bring into force the first independently negotiated Free Trade Agreements in more than 50 years.
The UK signed the Australia Agreement in December and the New Zealand Agreement in February. Together, they will benefit people, businesses and communities across the country and support the capacity building agenda.
The Anglo-Australia deal is expected to increase trade by 53 per cent, boost the economy by £2.3 billion and increase wages a year in the long term. The Anglo-New Zealand agreement is expected to increase trade by nearly 60% and boost the economy by £800m.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
I am delighted to see the UK implement its first ‘from scratch’ Free Trade Agreements in over 50 years and deliver the key benefit of Brexit – having our own independent trade policy.
This bill will allow us to export world-class goods and services and bring high quality imports at reduced prices to UK customers.
The introduction of this Bill is an important step in ratifying these trade agreements so UK businesses can start benefiting and expanding trade with Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible. For these agreements to take effect, the following must happen:
Parliament must formally scrutinize agreements under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.
The Trade Bill (Australia and New Zealand) must be approved by Parliament.
Secondary legislation is needed to be passed by Parliament to make the necessary changes to our procurement regime to meet the terms of the Agreement.
Only when the above steps are completed can these agreements be ratified and entered into force.
In line with our commitment to transparency and oversight, the government has:
Publish full texts for both agreements as soon as they are signed, along with independently scrutinized impact assessments.
Ensure that the Agriculture and Trade Commission – a panel of independent experts – has more than three months to report on the agreements. The Agriculture & Trade Commission’s report on the Anglo-Australian Agreement is due to be published on 13 April. The Commission will report on the UK-New Zealand Agreement in June.
International treaties negotiated and put into force by governments. Treaties do not always require the law to be in force, but in some cases it may be necessary to change domestic law in order to make a commercial agreement possible. For these arrangements, this Bill will change our rules for procurement, which in turn will expand UK suppliers’ access to procurement opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. Zealand. The changes are needed to give Australian and Kiwi suppliers access to the benefits of the Agreements.
New commitments in free trade agreements like these will not affect the UK’s power to reform domestic procurement rules.
Both the Anglo-Australian and Anglo-New Zealand free trade agreements include commitments to tackle climate change such as decarbonizing and increasing innovation in green sectors.
For the first time, UK service providers including architects, scientists, researchers, lawyers and accountants will be granted visas to work in Australia without being subject to change of Australia’s skilled occupation list. Britons aged 18 to 35 will also be able to travel and work in Australia on a Working Holiday Maker Visa for up to three years.
The agreements include safeguards for the agricultural industry and food and beverage quality standards, with all imports needing to comply with UK food regulations.