New Australia-UK agreements guarantee exports post-Brexit vote

Australia and the United Kingdom have signed a new bilateral Mutual Recognition Agreement and Wine Agreement that will help ensure the continued flow of trade post-Brexit.

The agreements come after the British parliament voted against a Brexit deal on January 16, Australian time.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, said the agreements would ensure arrangements already in place between Australia and the European Union for exports continue to apply for the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

“This will mean Australian exporters can continue to benefit from existing arrangements for mutual recognition as they do currently, even if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement,” said Birmingham.

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“These agreements provide assurances to Australian exporters that they will be able to get their goods into the UK post-Brexit whether it be wine, medical devices or automotive parts without additional trade barriers or regulations.

“They are a significant and necessary step in our post-Brexit preparations, where we want to minimise disruptions to trade flows and provide as much certainty to Australian exporters as we can,” he said.

“On top of these, we’re committed to securing a comprehensive free trade agreement with the UK as soon as they are in a position to do so, which will even further boost trade flows between our two countries,’ said Birmingham.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Mutual Recognition Agreement will help facilitate trade flows between both countries, guaranteeing continuity of the existing mutual recognition arrangements post-Brexit.

“For Australian businesses, this will eliminate the cost and time of duplicative testing or the need for re-certification when their products arrive in the other country’s market,” she said.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said nearly a third of Australia’s exported wine went to the UK last year.

“This agreement protects Australia’s geographical indicators so UK consumers know our wine is fair dinkum.

“We can grow our UK trade under this agreement and put more money in Australian wine grower’s pockets,” he said.

The Wine Agreement replicates an agreement already in place with the EU, meaning the UK will accept Australian labelling standards and certification standards as well as winemaking practices.