June 15, 2021
On Tuesday June 15th, the United Kingdom and Australia have agreed the broad terms for a trade deal between the two countries. The deal seeks to eliminate tariffs on goods but with a 15 year transitional period. The liberalisation of certain agricultural produce will be staged in order to allow for markets to transition. The deal represents another stepping stone towards joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). If the deal can be ratified before the end of this year, this will represent the first big bilateral agreement entirely negotiated by the UK since Brexit. Other deals that have been closed were broadly based on existing arrangements that were agreed by the European Union when the UK was still a member.
The argument between the UK and the European Union over Northern Ireland border protocol appeared to be heading towards a trade war, despite US President Joe Biden calling for compromise. During the G7 summit held last week in the UK, the British government indicated that there will be no softening of their stance. The protocol was introduced as part of the UK-EU deal to ensure that the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, remained open to free movement of people and goods, however, this means that regularity checks of goods arriving from the UK would need to be implemented at the border points on the Irish Sea. The UK has asked to renegotiate the protocol to avoid the deemed separation of Northern Ireland, which if implemented, would prevent certain goods shipping into NI from the UK once the rules are fully enforced and potentially threaten the peace. The UK has said that they will invoke Article 16 which makes provision to take unilateral action if the protocol gave rise to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties.
The Free Trade Agreement previously agreed with Switzerland, who are part of the EFTA group of countries along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, came into effect on the 1st January 2021. On the same date, a transitional roll over deal was agreed with the remining EFTA countries.
Further to some initial concerns that an agreement over a permanent Free Trade Deal could not be reached due to a proportion of Norwegian MPs objecting to parts of the text that potentially threaten Norwegian agriculture, the UK announced on Friday 4th June that a trade deal had now been agreed with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein which ensures continued cooperation and free trade going forward.
Trade in goods and services between the UK and Liechtenstein was GBP.173 million last year
The UK exports to Liechtenstein is valued at GBP.166 million.
UK one step closer to joining CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership)
The UK now looking away from their natural trading partner the EU, the CPTPP is now firmly in their sights. On Wednesday 2nd June, following an online meeting of the 11 member nations of the pact agreement was reached that facilitates Britain to start the process of joining.
The CPTPP removes 95% of tariffs within the pact, the membership consists of: Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia