The UK is set to agree a free trade deal with Australia that will cut tariffs in Aussie imports to zero after 15 years.
The longer timeline to reduce taxes on imports comes after fierce opposition from British farmers who fear an influx of beef and lamb from Down Under, according to the Sun.
Trade secretary Liz Truss has the backing from Boris Johnson and Cabinet to ink the free trade deal with Australia, which would be one of the most significant in the post-Brexit era.
The trade in meat, produce and dairy has been a roadblock in negotiations. Canberra had wanted a five year trasition to zero tariffs on its imports into the UK, according to the Sun.
The 15 year trasition period to zero was agreed by the inner-Cabinet committee in Westminster in charge of talks.
The offer will now be made to the Australian side, which man enduce further haggling over the timeline to reduce quotas, taxes and tariffs on imports to zero.
If there’s agreement or counter proposals from Canberra that the UK can stomach, Australia and the UK could sign the free trade deal when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives in Cornwall for the G7 summit next month.
The Government was this morning trying to reassure UK farmers are “not undercut” and “not put at a disadvantage” as part of any free trade agreement, the Justice Secretary has said.
Robert Buckland was asked by the BBC what reassurance he could give to people who feared free trade was being put ahead of the future of farming, livestock welfare and the environment and climate change.
Buckland said: “The Government’s always said that any free trade agreement that we reach with Australia, or indeed other countries around the world as we’re now able to do, and we’ve been making huge progress on that front over the last few months, will of course take into account the very high welfare standards we apply here the UK.
“And will of course make sure that British farming and British farmers are not undercut, are not put at a disadvantage, bearing in mind the quality and excellence of the products that are made here in the UK.”