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Australia Trade Agreement: Bishop Auckland

Volume 696: debated on Thursday 10 June 2021

What steps her Department has taken to ensure that (a) farmers and (b) food producers in Bishop Auckland can benefit from an free trade agreement with Australia. (900749)

The Government are clear that any deal with Australia must work for UK farmers and producers. We will use a range of tools to defend British farming. As well as improving access to the Australian market, an FTA will act as a gateway to CPTPP, creating unheralded new export opportunities for British farmers and producers.

Last summer, the Secretary of State visited Grange Hill farm in Bishop Auckland, where leading farmers John and Jane are rightly proud of the fabulous beef that they produce. Will my right hon. Friend please tell the House how the gateway to the CPTPP—a deal with Australia—will open up new markets for British beef farmers?

I know that the Secretary of State greatly enjoyed her visit last year to the farms in my hon. Friend’s constituency. CPTPP is a great opportunity. I referenced in an earlier question growing Asian demand for products such as meat and other British agrifood products. We see there being tremendous opportunities in that fast-growing market—13% of global GDP across four continents. This is a real opportunity to be able to sell British farming produce to those fast-growing Asian and American markets.