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Opportunities in Brexit trade deal limbo

"While today's formal UK exit from the EU provides Australian companies based in the UK with some certainty that the split will happen, there is still at least eleven months of limbo while the UK-EU Trade deal is being negotiated," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"In the meantime, it presents us with the opportunity to start negotiations with the UK on our own FTA, which we believe should be held concurrently with our negotiations with the EU.

"Services and investment are our biggest economic interests in the UK and we need to focus on the movement of people, data, IP and capital in any future FTA.

"Until the legal shift of the trade deal has occurred, Australian exporters should take advantage of the immediate mental shift and start exploring opportunities that may emerge.

"With 45 days shipping, goods exports to the UK have always been a difficult proposition, however Qantas' direct flights from Perth to London may assist fresh horticultural and seafood exports into the UK, as premium food importers look for alternative sources.

"Wine is another big opportunity. The UK is the world's second biggest wine importer and its split with the EU, their biggest supplier, puts Australian wine makers on an even footing with the competition. This may result in some new opportunities which will be welcome given the disruption that the coronavirus has caused to the Chinese market.

"Importantly, the UK will be excluded from the EU standards' making body so existing exporters will need to confirm that new products are suitable for sale in both markets.

"The UK is also now formally excluded from the EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Australia, which means that their requests for Geographic Indicator protections, which would have been damaging for Australian exporters, will be removed from the request list, including Stilton, Scotch Beef, Scotch lamb and Scotch Whisky," Mr Willox said.

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