The United Kingdom and Australia celebrated the entry into force of their historic free trade deal that will eliminate tariffs on most goods and make it easier for people to live and work in both countries.
The deal, signed in December 2021, is the first post-Brexit deal negotiated from scratch by the UK government and not “rolled over” from trade terms the UK enjoyed while in the EU.
It is also the first free trade agreement struck by the UK after its exit from the European Union.
The free trade deal agreement took effect on May 31, 2023 following years of negotiations and ratification by both parliaments.
Free Trade Deal Benefits – Businesses and Consumers
The deal will provide more access to the UK market for Australian goods and services, such as beef, lamb, seafood, wine, sugar, dairy products, education, financial services and technology.
It will also benefit UK businesses and consumers by reducing costs and increasing choice of high-quality Australian products, such as wine, whisky, cars and ceramics.
The deal will also support jobs and growth in both countries by boosting trade and investment flows and enhancing cooperation on areas such as climate change, digital trade, innovation and security.
New Visa Arrangements for Young People
One of the most significant aspects of the deal is the new visa arrangements for young people from both countries.
Under the deal, Australians and Britons will be able to apply for a working holiday visa up to the age of 35, instead of 30, and stay for three years, instead of two.
They will also be able to apply for up to three working holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements.
This will provide better career opportunities and cultural exchange for young people from both countries who want to live and work abroad.
Historic Moment for the Relationship
Both leaders hailed the deal as a historic moment for the relationship between the UK and Australia, which share a common history, language, values and institutions.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the deal was a “new dawn” in the friendship between the two countries and a “fantastic opportunity” for British businesses and consumers.
He said: “This is global Britain at its best – looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and help ensure every part of the country builds back better from the pandemic.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the deal was a “gold standard” trade agreement that represented a “once in a generation” opportunity for Australia.
He said: “This deal delivers more jobs, more growth, more prosperity in both our countries. And more opportunities for Australians and Britons to live and work together in each other’s country.