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UK-Australia trade negotiations inquiry reopened by Lords committee

11 January 2022

Following the publication of the text of the signed UK-Australia trade agreement, the House of Lords International Agreements Committee has reopened its inquiry into the negotiations.

Background

The Committee is interested in submissions on all aspects of the trade agreement, but in particular wishes to hear to what extent the Agreement meets the Government’s stated negotiating objectives; how it will affect consumers and businesses; and the likely economic, social, environmental and other impacts. 

A list of topics for written evidence and information on how to submit is available on the committee's website. Interested organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the inquiry by 5:00 PM on Thursday 3 February. 

On Thursday 13 January, the committee will hold its first evidence session for the relaunched inquiry, where it will quiz experts on key trade-offs in the Agreement and look at other key areas such as the phasing out of import tariffs on meat, animal welfare standards, regulatory barriers to trade, and governance. 

The session will take place at 11:00 AM and can be followed on Parliament TV. 

Witnesses: 

  • Dmitry Grozoubinski, Founder, ExplainTrade  
  • Emily Rees, Founder and Managing Director, Trade Strategies  
  • Sam Lowe, Director, Flint Global 

Possible questions: 

  • What are the key trade-offs of this trade agreement—is it fair to characterise it as Australian food in return for UK cars and services? 
  • The future trade agreement (FTA) removes tariffs on beef and lamb, but not chicken and pig meat—why is this? 
  • Will the UK have to make any changes to food rules as a result of this agreement? Do you think negotiators should have insisted on minimum animal welfare standards in return for tariff reduction? 
  • Does this FTA go far enough in removing regulatory barriers to trade in goods or services? 
  • There are many commitments in the text to cooperate. Have such commitments made a substantial difference in other agreements? 
  • How will the agreement’s governance arrangements work in practice? Are they in line with provisions in other trade agreements?    
  • If we import more food from Australia will this come at the expense of developing countries?  

Further information