Brexit: no British beef exported to Australia under UK’s first post-EU trade deal due to red tape

No British beef has been exported to Australia under the UK’s first post-Brexit free-trade agreement (FTA) as there is too much red tape, NationalWorld can reveal.

Earlier this month, an exporter of beef jerky had its shipment blocked by Australian border controls as the UK government had not requested access. It is thought this is the first time a British business had tried to export beef to Australia under the FTA, which came into effect in May last year.

The trade deal, which was signed in December 2021, was the first FTA agreed by the government after Brexit, and was heralded by Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. At the time, British farmers expressed concerns that they would be undercut by lower quality imported meat. Since then, Australian farmers have exported 1,700 tonnes of beef to the UK, according to the Department of Business and Trade.

However, no beef has been exported from Britain to Australia as the UK does not have a reciprocal agreement. Experts think that under the current system it would take around three years for an exporter to get approved by Australian authorities, even with the FTA. The British Meat Processors Association has written to Kemi Badenoch, the Business Secretary, urging her not to make the same mistake in future free-trade agreements.