The price of British imports like alcohol, make-up, chocolate and cars are set to fall in Australia after a major trade deal between Canberra and London was set in stone on Friday.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan officially signed off on the free trade agreement (FTA) with UK Secretary of State for International Trade on Friday.
While the exact savings on each product are yet to be known, Scott Morrison said the new deal would save Australian households and businesses around $200m a year.
“This is the most comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement that Australia has concluded, other than with New Zealand,” the Prime Minister said on Friday.
“When the Australia-UK FTA enters into force, around 75 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade will be covered by free trade agreements.”
Popular British brands ranging from Land Rover, Cadbury, Johnnie Walker, Lush, Digestives biscuits and many more are expected to drop in price as the zero tariff clause of the new free trade comes into effect over the next five years.
But product prices will not be the only change Aussies are likely to notice through the Australia-UK FTA.
The age cut-off for the popular UK working holiday visa available to young Australians will be raised from 30 to 35 under the new agreement. The maximum stay on these visas will also be lifted from two years to three years.
Aussie professionals working in law, accounting, engineering and architecture are also expected to have an easier time finding a job in the UK, with a new framework to improve the recognition of qualifications earned in Australia in Britain.
Improving the ability for Australian lawyers to practise in the UK will be one of the core focuses of the new framework
“Professionals will have the same access to the UK’s lucrative jobs market as their European competitors, except from the Republic of Ireland,” Mr Morrison said.
“This means Australian jobseekers can compete on an equal footing with EU nationals in the UK for the first time in more than 40 years.”
Aussie farmers and business are also set to benefit from the new deal with the immediate elimination of tariffs on over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports to the UK.
But beef, lamb, and sugar farmers may find themselves waiting to enjoy the full benefits of this with the complete removal of tariffs on any export amounts beyond the tariff-free quota expected to take up to 10 years.
The historic deal comes as both the UK and Australia find themselves at difficult turning points in history.
The UK is struggling to recover economically and politically from its decision to exit the European Union in 2016.
At the same time, Australia is desperately seeking new markets and new alliances to balance against China and its increasing willingness to weaponise trade ties when pushing for Australia to alter its political behaviour.
Mr Tehan said the FTA was a “win-win” for both countries as he signed off on the deal on Friday.
“This is incredibly significant for our region,” he said.
“It will bring the United Kingdom into the Indo-Pacific at a crucial time in our history where geostrategic competition is driving a lot of uncertainty.”