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Britain signs 1st post-Brexit trade deal with Australia to cut out tariffs

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) stands with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) on Saturday during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall, Britain. Photo by Andrew Parsons/No. 10 Downing Street/UPI
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) stands with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) on Saturday during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall, Britain. Photo by Andrew Parsons/No. 10 Downing Street/UPI | License Photo

June 15 (UPI) -- Britain on Tuesday brokered its first free trade deal since leaving the European Union 18 months ago by signing a what it called a historic new agreement with Australia.

The deal eliminates all tariffs between the two nations and affects items like vehicles and liquor, the British government said. London said the deal also lets Britons live and work in Australia without barriers, and vice versa.

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Officials said a final "agreement in principle" is expected in the coming days.

Trade between Britain and Australia generated almost $20 billion in 2020, during a year that was significantly disrupted by COVID-19.

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The new deal also lets British farmers benefit from a 15-year cap on tariff-free imports and enables them to increase exports.

"The leaders reaffirmed the enduring partnership between [Britain] and Australia during their discussion and agreed to work closely together on defense, technology collaboration and tackling climate change -- including through a future clean-tech partnership," the British government said in a statement Tuesday.

"Today marks a new dawn in [Britain's] relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. "Our new free-trade agreement opens fantastic opportunities for British businesses and consumers, as well as young people wanting the chance to work and live on the other side of the world."

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the pact a good deal for both countries.

"Our economies are stronger by these agreements," Morrison said, according to News.com. "This is the most comprehensive and ambitious agreement that Australia has concluded.

"The only one which comes into close connection with that is the arrangement we have with New Zealand under the closer economic relationship arrangements we have there."

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