UK election result means official Australia-UK trade negotiations could begin in early 2020

December 16, 2019: The Conservative party victory in the UK elections last week means that negotiations for an Australia-UK free trade agreement could begin as early as February 2020.

After the landslide win for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it is expected that the UK will leave the EU by the 31st of January 2020. After this time, the UK will be free to begin formal trade negotiations with third parties, and official negotiations are likely to begin with Australia and other countries including the US and New Zealand.

While the UK can negotiate and ratify trade agreements immediately after leaving the EU, agreements will only come into effect after the 1-year transition period after the UK leaves the EU.

AFTINET will monitor FTA negotiations when they begin and make submissions to government. We will campaign against the inclusion of Investor-state dispute resolution provisions (ISDS), which give corporations the right to sue governments over policy decisions that impact on their investments, increased medicine monopolies and other damaging provisions. We will also advocate for the inclusion of fully enforceable provisions on labour rights, human rights and environmental standards.