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Australia free trade deal examined by MPs

6 May 2022

Two government ministers and the chair of an advisory body on trade are to be questioned by MPs about the free trade deal the UK signed with Australia in December 2021.

The Chair of the UK's Trade and Agriculture Commission, which advises the government and parliament, Professor Lorand Bartels MBE, will be questioned by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee from 9.45 AM on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 in Committee Room 6. 

The Ministers for Farming, Fisheries and Food, Victoria Prentis MP, and Trade Policy, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, will appear before the same committee on the afternoon of the same day, from 2.30 PM, also in Committee Room 6. 

Senior officials will accompany the ministers. The sessions in both the morning and the afternoon can be watched on  

Purpose of the session

The Committee is expected to seek information about how the trade deal, officially known as the UK Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), may affect levels of trade between the two nations and the implications it might have for UK farmers and food producers. Issues such as domestic UK standards in the food and farming sectors – including standards on animal and plant life, animal welfare, and the environment – are expected to be addressed.        


Wednesday 11 May

From 9.45am:  

  • Professor Lorand Bartels MBE, Chair of the Trade and Agricultural Commission

From 2.30pm:  

  • Victoria Prentis, Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Trade Policy, Department for International Trade
  • Chris Heaton, Deputy Director; International Trade Policy, DEFRA 
  • James Clarke, Deputy Chief Negotiator, Australia FTA, Department for International Trade

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright