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Landmark post-Brexit Australia and New Zealand free trade deals launching this month


The Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Business and Trade have announced that the UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand free trade agreements will come into force from midnight on 31 May 2023. This represents the first trade deals negotiated from scratch by the UK and tailored to our strengths as a services-led economy.

The deals are expected to increase bilateral trade with Australia by 53% and with New Zealand by 59% in the long term. They come as the Prime Minister will meet both the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, today for talks in Downing Street ahead of the Coronation.

Both trade deals will drive economic growth and innovation across the UK, Australia and New Zealand through the removal of tariffs on all UK goods exports, open unprecedented access for services, cutting of red tape for digital trade, and by making it easier for UK professionals to live and work in Australia and New Zealand.

It comes just weeks after the UK concluded negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade area worth £9 trillion, putting us at the heart of a trading powerhouse.

Other UK benefits include:

  • Investment opportunities and access to government contracts, including putting British businesses on equal footing to compete for an additional £10 billion of Australian public sector contracts per year and high investment screening thresholds for UK investors in New Zealand
  • Tariff free access to both markets for all British goods and flexible rules of origins, giving businesses a competitive edge over international rivals
  • Removal of UK import tariffs on majority of goods from Australia and New Zealand, reducing prices for UK consumers on favourites such as wine and manuka honey and lowering costs on machinery parts for UK manufacturers
  • Progressive rules on digital trade and free flow of data, cutting red tape for SMEs and easing trade while protecting intellectual property, brands and innovations

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“As some of our closest allies, and greatest friends, I am delighted our first built from scratch trade deals are with Australia and New Zealand.

“These landmark deals squarely deliver on my priorities to drive economic growth, boost innovation and increase highly skilled jobs across the UK, ensuring we and our closest friends continue to prosper for generations to come.”

Natalie Creaney