HAVING failed to obtain any significant trade deals that were actually different from before Brexit, Boris Johnson told parliament at the end of last year this would now change. “We are going to open ... a new chapter in our national story, striking free trade deals around the world.”

It seems a deal has been now offered to Australia with zero tariffs and quotas on meat imports phased-in by 2035. Such a deal will have massive consequences for “our national story”.

UK agriculture is a small part of our economy but is the big land user.

Seventy percent of the UK is farmland and a great deal of this is put over to beef and lamb production. It mostly supplies the UK consumer, exports mainly going to the EU.

The impact of unrestricted imports of cheap Australian open-range meat will be devastating for both farming and our countryside. Further, it set a dangerous precedent for the other trade deals Johnson is so eager to make with the likes of India, Brazil and USA.

Boris’s “new chapter of our national story” is set to be a very bumpy ride.


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