Conservative MEPs welcome announcement on EU-Australia trade negotiations

16-Nov-2015 @ 18:0

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Conservative MEPs have welcomed the news that EU and Australian leaders have opened the way for talks on a free trade agreement.

A scoping exercise will now take place whereby the boundaries and the depth of the eventual trade negotiations will be determined.

This follows the announcement last month of a similar exercise between the EU and New Zealand, ahead of launching trade negotiations in mid-2017.

It is expected that the negotiations with Australia will follow the pattern of so-called "new generation" free trade agreements, such as the EU-South Korea agreement which entered into force in 2011.

These focus not only on tariffs but also on making regulation between the two parties simpler so that businesses find it easier to trade.

International Trade Spokesman Emma McClarkin said: "I am pleased that both New Zealand and now Australia are both on board when it comes to negotiating free trade deals.

"The EU and Australia share common values, including a recognition that they are partners in tackling today's global terror threats. Negotiating a trade deal will reaffirm that relationship to the benefit of both. "

The East Midlands MEP added: "We must ensure, however, that we make this a worthwhile deal and therefore I hope that the scoping exercise will conclude that the negotiations have to be deep and comprehensive.

"A halfway house is of limited value for our businesses in the UK."

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