Australia has slammed the post-Brexit trading plans of the United Kingdom, over concerns that it could affect the export industry of Australia.
Currently, there are quotas for goods which originate from outside of the European Union to which tariffs that are essentially a tax imposed on the country exporting are lessened or not applied. The European Union and the United Kingdom have agreed to divide these quotas after Brexit, based on where most goods are consumed.
However, Australia thinks that this could possibly limit where it sends its goods. New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and Brazil have also shown sympathy with the argument of Australia.
On the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Steven Ciobo, the Australian trade minister said: “You have a choice about where you place your quota at the moment.
“Therefore, given that you could put it into the UK or you could put it into continental Europe, why would we accept a proposition that would see a decline in the quota available because of the Brexit decision?”
A spokesperson for the Department for International Trade of the United Kingdom stated: “As we leave the EU, we will need to update the terms of our World Trade Organisation membership to reflect an independent UK trade policy.
“We want to ensure a smooth transition which minimises the disruption to our trading relationships with other WTO members, and tariff rate quotas are one of the issues that we are discussing with them.”
However, the government has been warned against simply allowing more low-tariff products from external countries in, because of the detrimental impact that this could have on domestic farmers of the United Kingdom.
“We must not look at this simply as a matter of economics,” said shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner.
“It’s not simply about: ‘Are we going to get cheaper lamb in the UK if we import a lot more from New Zealand?’ The real issue here is what these things do to our wider economy and the landscape of this country.”