Briefings UK Trade with Australia Parliamentary Briefing

READING TIME 15 min mins

UK Trade with Australia Parliamentary Briefing

Australia is a great ally of the UK’s. However, it is only the UK’s 19th largest trading partner, ranking far behind European partners including Poland, Belgium and Norway. Australia’s geographical distance from the UK means that it is poorly positioned for UK supply chains and manufacturing.

There is a notable disparity between food, environmental and animal welfare standards in Australia and the UK. While the UK is a world leader in sustainable farming and high animal welfare standards, Australian agriculture lags far behind. Australia also falls short on environmental standards and ambitions, and tends not to include environmental chapters in its trade deals.

Despite these considerations, the UK Government has made it a priority to seek an FTA between the UK and Australia. An Agreement in Principle is expected in June 2021. The lack of scrutiny processes in the UK means that MPs have no guaranteed debate or vote on the deal. In this regard, the UK falls behind key trading partners including the US, EU and Japan.

The rest of this briefing is divided into: I. Substantive issues, exploring the key sticking points in negotiations; II. Process, which looks at how the deal is negotiated, assessed and agreed.


UK Australia Trade deals climate change animal welfare food environment public services digital trade parliamentary scrutiny