Australia-British trade deal could hit Irish agri-food exporters

Carol Lynch, Partner in Customs and International Trade, joins Brian Finn on RTE Morning Ireland to discuss the British-Australia trade deal and its implications for Irish agri-food exporters.

A trade deal between Britain and Australia has been agreed by prime ministers, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison. Britain has made this deal with Australia a priority for its post-Brexit strategy as it seeks to build stronger commercial and diplomatic links in the Indo-Pacific region. It is the first trade deal the UK have negotiated since they left the EU in January 2020. 

Chatting to Morning Ireland, Carol explains how “the deals to date have been rollover from EU trade agreements that the UK would have had access to before Brexit”.  

Carol notes that the agreement may have negative effects and consequences for Irish agri-food exporters. Currently Ireland has tariff-free access to the UK markets due to the EU-UK trade agreement.

“The biggest concern for farmers is the provision of zero-quota, zero-tariff access for [Australian] beef into the UK”.

She explains that 50% of Irish beef is exported to the UK. 

Carol also emphasises the importance being aware of this agreement, and any future agreements that may take place to displace Irish exporters. 

In her closing remarks, Carol states that Irish exporters should “be looking outside of the UK market and develop the European market where we have tariff-free access and with the single market that is completely protected from outside competition.”

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Content and image adapted from RTE Online

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