Ensuring we are a forward-thinking and outward-looking trading nation - Henry Smith, MP for Crawley
What has been made clear by the people of Crawley and our whole United Kingdom at repeated times over recent years is the desire not only for our country to be a forward-thinking and outward-looking trading nation, but to have a government which gets on and ensures this is delivered.
To date, Britain has already signed some 70 trade deals worth almost £900 billion into law; showing how the UK can use the new opportunities available.
In recent days the UK and Australia have confirmed a historic new free-trade agreement (FTA).
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This is our country’s first major trade deal negotiated from scratch since leaving the EU and will create new opportunities for British businesses and consumers. It will remove tariffs on all British goods, open up new markets for UK services providers and tech firms, as well as making it easier for people to travel and work together.
The new agreement will provide support and protections for British farmers so they can benefit from new trading opportunities.
They will be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, using tariff rate quotas and other safeguards. The UK is also supporting agricultural producers to increase their exports overseas, including to new markets in the Indo-Pacific. In the House of Commons last year when discussions on the Australia FTA started, I called for the Government to ensure a focus on emerging markets in south east Asia.
The FTA makes it easier for people to travel between the UK and Australia. British people under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely, opening up greater opportunities for young people.
The deal will uphold existing high standards and foster collaboration on challenges like tackling climate change and unfair trading practices.
I have been a long-time Chair and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and have studied the Australia trade agreement in detail as a result. I am satisfied at Australia’s animal welfare standards as one of the highest globally – more I might add than the EU.
The last week has also seen the UK reach an agreement with the US on a 17 year trade dispute whilst we were still EU members. The retaliatory tariffs which had been imposed by both sides will be suspended for five years with closer co-operation on tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.
A key part of Global Britain’s success includes the ability to travel safely. I have secured a Westminster Hall debate at 3.15pm on Thursday (24th June) on support for the aviation, tourism and travel industry. This will be broadcast live on: www.parliamentlive.tv with my calls to the Government available on: www.henrysmith.info/futureofaviation shortly afterwards.