The broad outlines of a free-trade agreement between the UK and Australia should be viewed in context. It is the UK’s first post-Brexit trade agreement to be negotiated from scratch, and the government has long argued that the ability to strike its own deals around the world is one of the big benefits of leaving the EU.
However, on the government’s own figures, it is worth saying that the trade deal is estimated to add 0.02 per cent to UK GDP in 15 years’ time, while the government’s own estimates of leaving the EU single market will reduce UK GDP by 4 per cent over the same period.
We will need the equivalent of 200 “Australia deals” to offset the impact of leaving the largest single market in the world.
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