Britain and Australia agreed to a trade deal after talks between their prime ministers resolved outstanding issues, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Tuesday.
The deal will be Britain’s first trade deal since Brexit, and it comes as London seeks to expand trade and diplomatic ties in the Indo-Pacific region.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his British counterpart Boris Johnson overcame sticking points during talks after the Group of Seven meeting in Britain over the weekend, which Morrison had attended as a guest.
“Both prime ministers have had a positive meeting in London overnight and have resolved outstanding issues” regarding the trade pact, Tehan said in a statement.
Britain is Australia’s eighth largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth A $ 26.9 billion ($ 20.7 billion). Before Britain joined the then European common market in 1973, Britain was Australia’s most lucrative trading market.
A formal announcement would be made later Tuesday, Tehan said. The deal will be scrutinized closely by British farmers, who fear they could be forced to close if the deal removes tariffs on imports of lamb and beef from Australia.