Boris Johnson announces a four-week delay to lockdown easing
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison have agreed in principle a free trade deal, which sees Britons able to work in Australia for three years with no farm work. Tariffs will also be removed on various goods under the expected completed deal in 2022.
Downing Street has said that Britons under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely, with the farm work requirement to be scrapped.
The major change in policy is welcomed by many travellers who currently must complete 88 days of work on a rural property if they wish to stay in the country for a second year on a working holiday visa.
This involves working in regional areas in specific jobs such as fruit picking and packing, trimming vines, working in tree farming or working in mining or construction.
The work requirement aimed to help farmers in Australia by providing them with seasonal workers.
Boris Johnson said: “Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values.
“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.
“This is global Britain at its best – looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and help ensure every part of the country builds back better from the pandemic.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said there will be no limit on the number of young people who would be able to move between the two nations.
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He said: “There is a great opportunity for young people from both the UK and Australia to move and operate in different countries.
“That builds capacity, in both countries, with that easy engagement.”
The huge move is likely to have an impact on farmers who relied on backpackers, but a new agriculture visa allows British farmers to work in Australia.
The changes will not come into force until at least summer next year when the free trade deal is expected to be officially signed.
The two leaders were said to have agreed the deal on Monday evening, with a final agreement in principle set to be published in the coming days.
Various different tariffs will also be removed from goods.
In a statement explaining the benefits of the deal, Number 10 said the new deal will help distillers by removing tariffs of up to five percent on Scotch whisky.
For Northern Ireland, 90 percent of all exports to Austria are machinery and manufacturing goods, with tariffs set to be removed and custom procedures simplified.
Car manufacturers in the Midlands and North of England will also see up to five percent of tariffs cut.
It is also set to eliminate tariffs on Australian goods like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wine, swimwear as well as confectionery and agricultural products.
However, UK farmers have spoken out about worries regarding the deal, explaining that the market could be flooded with cheaper, lower-quality meat produce.
Farmers in the country have feared that they cannot compete with Australian producers who operate on a much larger scale.
Downing Street has said there will be a cap on the level of tariff-free imports from Australia from 15 years, with other “safeguards” being brought in to protect farmers in the UK.
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