Australian farmers may soon be able to export meat to the UK without tariffs as part of a free trade agreement.
Australia’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan and Britain’s Trade Minister Liz Truss are anxious for the deal to proceed, both saying that farmers will benefit. This will be one of the first major trade agreements since Brexit.
However, sentiment about the deal is divided by the British Parliament, with some arguing that it will devastate the UK’s local meat industry.
“If there is a report from this Tories [Conservative Party] The deal is true, farmers will lose their livelihoods, rural businesses will collapse, and eventually families will be expelled from the land, “MP said. Ian Blackford said In Congress. “This deal will be the last nail in the casket for many Scottish farmers and farmers.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson replied that Blackford underestimated the ability of Scottish farmers to “do great things” under free trade agreements.
“Why doesn’t he believe what the Scottish people can do? Why is he so afraid of free trade,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for Scotland and the UK as a whole. He should grab it and be proud.”
The National Farmers’ Union of the United Kingdom (NFU) has been very critical of the deal and has expressed concern that British farmers will struggle to compete with countries with less high animal welfare and environmental standards.
“These deals should demonstrate our qualifications as global leaders in animal welfare standards, environmental protection, and action to address climate change,” said NFU President. Minette Batters said.
The Australian National Federation of Farmers (NFF) has assured British counterparts that increased Australian meat exports will depend on British demand.
“Australia’s lean meat to the UK is very small in light of the total UK lean meat imports and Australia’s total exports,” said NFF President. Fiona Simson said..
In 2020, Australia exported 1567 tonnes of beef to the United Kingdom, which imported a total of 314,000 tonnes of beef by 0.005%. In the case of lambs, 14% of all lambs imported from the United Kingdom came from Australia.
The NFU eased their position after hearing from Australian High Commissioner George Brandis that beef and lambs were “impossible” to flood the market.
“If the Australian Government’s predictions are correct and there is no harm to British farmers, we can continue the agreed liberalization,” said NFU. “NFU supports the conclusion of an FTA between Australia and the United Kingdom, as long as it contains appropriate safeguards that balance liberalization with the protection of the lives of British farmers.”