UK trade talks underway for when the Brits leave Europe

Tea for two

What will happen to trade between Australia and the UK when the UK is out of Europe?

Sorting out future trade deals is one of the reasons Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been in the UK this week. Let’s not dismiss the G20 summit, but wine wise, a future free trade deal with the UK will be important. Also important is how any new Australia agreement with the UK will affect current dealings with the European Union.

Despite historical connections, there is plenty of wine in the EU to satisfy UK thirst; from the British Government’s viewpoint, Australian wine is down the list of priorities. On the Australian side, wine trade with the UK is a priority and worth about $340 million.

  • Total trade with the UK in 2016 was $17,261 million
  • Exports to United Kingdom $10,136 million
  • Imports from United Kingdom $7,126 million

The major exports were

  • Gold $6,963 million
  • Lead $520 million
  • Alcoholic beverages $359 million
  • Pearls & gems $326 million

For sure, wine is declining, and China is the end of the vinous rainbow at the moment, but it would be good to think Australia could hold on to $300 million of the UK market while growing the US, Chinese and other markets.

An article in The Sydney Morning Herald this week said the UK wanted to sell more tea, jam, biscuits and beer to Australia. Australia is more than capable of buying tea direct, and can make its own jam, biscuits and beer.

This is the 21st century. The goods above belong to the 19th and early 20th centuries.  There is so much more to this then is being made public at the moment; it will interesting to see how it plays out.

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