Kemi Badenoch hailed a “historic moment” as Britain’s first post-Brexit trade deals negotiated from scratch came into force today.
The free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand took effect at midnight.
The pacts remove tariffs on UK exports Down Under, open unprecedented access for services, and slash red tape for digital trade and work visas.
The deals could also mean lower prices for British consumers on favorites such as wine, Tim Tams and kiwi fruit.
Ms Badenoch said: “Today is a historic moment as our first trade deals to be negotiated post-Brexit come into effect.
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“Businesses up and down the country will now be able to reap the rewards of our status as an independent trading nation and seize new opportunities, driving economic growth, innovation and higher wages.”
The deals will drive up bilateral trade with Australia by 53 percent and with New Zealand by 59 percent, according to the Department for Business and Trade.
To mark the occasion, International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston will tour DHL’s Southern Distribution Center near Heathrow to see off two handpicked consignments of UK goods.
Mr Huddleston said: “It is incredibly exciting to be visiting DHL to see some of the first shipments leaving the UK, knowing that when they arrive Down Under they will benefit from our brand new deals.
“Australia and New Zealand are two of our closest friends and like-minded partners and our trade deals secure favorable terms for British exporters, removing tariffs on all UK goods and slashing red tape.”
Beano comics signed by the comic’s editor John Anderson, Penderyn single malt Welsh whisky, Brighton Gin, The Cambridge Satchel Co. bags and Fever-Tree mixers are among the items being sent from the government to the Australian and New Zealand trade ministers.
The parcels will also include an England cricket top signed by James Anderson and Emma Lamb, a Wales rugby shirt signed by the men’s team and a tennis racket from Gray’s of Cambridge.