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By Joe Mayes (Bloomberg) —
The U.K. and Australia finalized their post-Brexit trade deal, the first post-Brexit agreement reached by Britain that goes beyond rolling over a previous EU relationship.
The agreement, which includes controversial provisions to open up the British market to Australian agricultural goods, was signed late Thursday, according to a statement from the U.K.’s Department for International Trade.
Though the accord is only expected to have a modest impact on the British economy — the U.K. government predicts a 0.08% boost to GDP over the next 15 years — International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan touted it as a benefit of leaving the European Union. Boris Johnson’s administration is keen to highlight Brexit upsides given how new barriers with the EU have contributed to a decline in overall trade as a proportion of economic output.
The final text includes measures such as easing business travel between the U.K. and Australia, and giving British services firms more access to the Australian market. The department said it will unlock an additional 10.4 billion pounds ($13.9 billion) of annual trade with Australia.
“Today we demonstrate what the U.K. can achieve as an agile, independent sovereign trading nation,” Trevelyan said in a statement. “This is just the start as we get on the front foot and seize the seismic opportunities that await us on the world stage.”
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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