Burger and wine bonanza as Boris Johnson signs off groundbreaking tax free Australian trade deal… in 15 years time
BORIS Johnson will offer Australia a 15 year transition to an historic zero tariff, zero quota trade deal, The Sun can reveal.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss has the Cabinet’s blessing to ink such a post-Brexit accord with our longstanding ally despite fierce resistance from Britain’s farmers.Trade boss Liz Truss backed by Boris to slash tariffs[/caption] Environment Secretary had been pushing for quotas on Aussie meat imports.[/caption]
Agriculture has been running sore in the trade negotiations – with the Aussie’s pushing for a rapid five year slashing of all import and export taxes on goods.
But amid fears our farmers could be undercut by an influx of cheaper Aussie beef and lamb, the decade and half bulwark was agreed by the inner-Cabinet committee in charge of talks.
The offer will now be made to the Australian side – with ministerial sources confident an agreement is now in sight despite further haggling to be done on the exact length of the transition.
Advocates for the deal say food and wine will get cheaper in British supermarkets when import levies are abolished.
But the tariffs on imports and exports on all goods would be “tapered out slowly” to allow Brit farmers to adjust after a major row over the deal had erupted.
Dubbed the “battle for the soul of Brexit” the PM threw his weight behind Cabinet free traders led by Ms Truss in a blow to protectionists Michael Gove and George Eustice who wanted to limit the terms of the deal.
Environment Secretary Mr Eustice had been pushing for quotas on meat imports from down under to be included in the deal, but a government source said he was “left isolated” with his plea.
‘BATTLE FOR SOUL OF BREXIT’
Brexiteers had argued keeping tariffs and quotas would undermine the point of breaking away from Brussels to strike out with new deals, and Australia should be able to trade on the same terms we trade with the EU.
Mr Johnson’s trade strategy committee – that included the Foreign and Business Secretaries as well as the Chancellor – are understood to have agreed to include other protections to maintain high standards of farming, but concluded to the “grand principle” that the tariff barriers should be dropped.
Australia and the UK could now sign the new treaty when their PM Scott Morrison jets to Cornwall next month for the G7 summit.
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Declining to comment on the details of the meeting, last night No10 said the PM “wants to maximise the massive opportunities presented by post-Brexit trade deals.”
The PM’s spokesman insisted that any agreement would include protections for our agriculture industry and won’t undercut UK farmers, adding: “We want a deal that is good for the British public and any agreement would have protection for the agriculture industry.”
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