I am pleased to report to the House that the Government expect the UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand free trade agreements to enter into force on 31 May 2023. This was agreed by the Prime Minister, with the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese and the Prime Minister of New Zealand Chris Hipkins during their respective visits to the United Kingdom.
Our groundbreaking deals are tailored to the UK’s strengths. They can grow the UK economy, benefiting all parts of the United Kingdom. From the date of entry into force, business will be able to access the benefits of the deals, with guidance available on gov.uk.
The agreements remove tariffs on 100% of UK goods exports, slash red tape, guarantee access for UK services and digital trade and will make it easier for UK professionals to live and work in Australia and New Zealand. They are uncompromising in their maintenance of the UK’s high environmental, animal welfare and food safety standards.
There are robust protections for British farmers in both deals, including staging tariff liberalisation for sensitive goods over time. Protecting the NHS is also a fundamental principle of our trade policy, and these deals deliver on the Government’s commitment to that principle. The NHS, the price it pays for medicines, and its services have remained off the table throughout negotiations.
With our strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, also demonstrated through our conclusion of negotiations to accede to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership (CPTPP), these deals are instrumental in focusing our efforts and putting our engagement on a long term, strategic footing. They represent a deepening of our relationship with close allies, who share our beliefs in fairness, free enterprise, high standards and the rule of law.
The final statutory instruments to implement the agreements have now been laid.
I would like to thank the House for its support and engagement in the ratification of these free trade agreements.