Rishi Sunak is set to welcome the leaders of Australia and New Zealand to No10 ahead of the UK’s landmark post-Brexit trade deals coming into force.
The prime minister will meet Australian PM Anthony Albanese and Chris Hipkins, prime minister of New Zealand, in Downing Street today.
It comes as the UK’s trade deals with the Oceanic nations are set to come into effect later this month, which the government says will drive economic growth – and just weeks after the UK agreed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The three men will then join international leaders at King Charles’ coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.
Sunak described the two nations as “some of our closest allies and greatest friends” and said he was “delighted our first built from scratch trade deals” had been signed with them.
Trade deal details
“These landmark deals squarely deliver on my priorities to drive economic growth, boost innovation and increase highly skilled jobs across the UK,” he said.
Ministers say the deals are tailored to the UK’s 80 per cent services-based economy, and that consumers and firms will reap the benefits, when they take effect at midnight on May 31.
UK firms will have equal access to bid for a further annual £10bn of Australian public sector contracts and import tariffs on goods such as wine and manuka honey will be removed.
Tariffs on all UK goods exports will be removed; red tape on digital trade and services will be cut; and UK professionals will find it easier to live and work down under, under the terms.
They are the first deals negotiated from scratch since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, and are expected to boost bilateral trade with Australia by 53 per cent and 59 per cent with New Zealand, in the long term.
Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch, said: “With these deals the UK is using our status as an independent trading nation to tailor agreements to our economic strengths.
“Putting these trade deals into action will help create new opportunities for business, boosting wages and helping spur economic growth.”
She added: “Alongside our recent conclusion of talks to join CPTPP, the government is forging a bold new future alongside the world’s most dynamic and fast-growing economies.”