United Kingdom – Brexit and Next Steps

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union on 31 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and the EU has now taken effect. The UK and EU will now negotiate their future trading relationship during a transition period which will conclude on 31 December 2020.

Australian agricultural producers should note that existing arrangements for exports to the UK and EU remain in effect until the end of this transition period.

If the UK and EU cannot agree the details of their future trading relationship or to an extension of the transition period by 31 December 2020, the UK will default to trading with the EU on WTO terms.

We have been taking steps to minimise disruptions for Australian agricultural producers. The Australian Government is:

  • focused on preserving and promoting our strategic and economic interests with the UK and EU
  • working to address any risks posed by Brexit and EU-UK negotiations
  • looking at ways to maximise opportunities with the UK – including a Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement.

Bilateral agreements

Arrangements already in place between Australia and the EU for wine and other exports continue to apply to the UK post-Brexit.

On 18 January 2019, Australia and the UK signed two bilateral agreements which will come into effect at the end of the transition period:

  1. Agreement on Trade in Wine between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  2. Agreement on Mutual Recognition in Relation to Conformity Assessment, Certificates and Markings between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

UK export conditions and requirements

The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will continue to accept existing EU model health certificates and establishment listings relating to exports of animals and animal products from third country trading partners, including Australia, for 6 months following the conclusion of the transition period.

The Australian Government is engaging with the UK to develop new health certificates and establishment listings.

Tariff-rate quotas

The EU intends to ‘split’ existing agricultural WTO tariff-rate quotas between the UK and the EU-27 at the end of the transition period.

This will include Australia’s country specific quotas for:

  • beef
  • buffalo
  • sheep and goat meat
  • cheese
  • sugar
  • rice.

We are progressing potential changes to the administration of the EU’s existing agricultural WTO tariff-rate quotas. The Australian Government is negotiating with the UK and EU to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Find out more about export quotas.

More information

We will update this page as more information about Brexit becomes available.

Find out more about Brexit:

UK Government Technical Notices and Guidance Materials including:

European Commission ‘Forging a new partnership’ web page and the Communication on implementing the Commission’s Contingency Action Plan.

Last reviewed: 5 March 2020
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