New Zealand could be offered zero-tariff trade deal like Australia
New Zealand could be offered a zero-tariff and zero-quota trade deal on the same terms as Australia, it has been suggested.
The Canadian Government also believes it can secure an ambitious deal on agriculture later this year after Boris Johnson gave the green light to offer generous terms to Australia in the negotiations, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
There are fears that allowing tariff free access to the UK market to Australian lamb and beef, which would be phased in over 15 years, will hammer farmers in Wales and threaten Welsh-speaking communities.
According to Whitehall sources a trade deal with Australia would pave the way for a New Zealand agreement within weeks.
The proposed deal with Australia has kicked off after a bitter row about protecting British farmers that has divided the UK Cabinet.
A Canadian source told The Sunday Telegraph: “There are areas where we think we can move further on agriculture with the UK, since we are only negotiating with one country rather than 28.
“We would learn from that [Australia] agreement… It would help inform some areas where the UK is looking to position themselves.”
Canadian farming lobbyists are ramping up pressure on their government to secure sweeping access to the UK market.
Claire Citeau, head of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, said: “Securing better, meaningful and competitive access to the UK market is a top priority for our exporters.”
Nick Fenwick, head of policy at the Farmers’ Union of Wales, fears that a generous offer to Australia could create a domino effect leading other countries to make similar demands.
He said: “We’ve set our bar so low that that’s what the other nations will be looking at when they walk into the negotiating room.”
UK negotiators fear a collapse in talks with Australia would scupper the New Zealand negotiations and undermine Britain’s hope to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Australia’s former High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, they would be willing to walk away from the talks.
He said: “We’ll have a meaningful free trade agreement or we won’t have an agreement at all.”