The European Union’s efforts to secure a trade deal with Australia have been mocked by LBC’s Iain Dale, who said the bloc have failed to do so for 40 years. Mr Dale was speaking to panellists on his Cross Questions programme as SNP MP Angus MacNeil clashed with former Conservative MP Edwina Currie. The conversation came shortly after Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the broad terms of a free trade agreement between the UK and Australia.
Concerns have been raised about the level of access granted to Australia to the UK agricultural sector by the deal.
Angus MacNeil echoed these concerns on the show, saying that “It’s not the right deal.
“The European Union are currently negotiating a deal [with Australia].
“You can be damn sure the European Union won’t be risking their farming or giving the Australians this access.”
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Host Dale replied: “They’ve had 40 years to negotiate a deal and haven’t managed it, have they?”
Angus MacNeil said, “Well they haven’t raised the white flag the way the UK has over trade, my goodness. It’s terrible.”
Panellist Edwina Currie said that the deal was “Good news, and we have no real idea how it’s going to work out.
“But I’m in favour of free trade.
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British farmers expressed concern in recent weeks that their businesses could be undercut but the arrival of cheap Australian produce such as beef and lamb.
However, the deal announced this week between the UK and Australia includes a 15-year cap on tariff-free agricultural goods.
The deal is expected to grow the UK economy by 0.02 percent over the next 15 years.
Boris Johnson hailed the agreement as a “new dawn” for Britain.