An international trade expert has proposed a plan for Australia to secure a beneficial trade deal with the UK, as Brexit draws nearer.
Trade deal talks with the United Kingdom should only begin once Australia is assured of the UK’s post-Brexit trading status, says a University of Sydney expert.
In an expert submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Associate Professor Mark Melatos suggests Australia should also wait for larger trading nations such as Canada and the US to negotiate trade deals with the UK – paving the way for Australia to build on concessions and secure better terms in a deal for itself.
A parliamentary committee is investigating Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Britain. Associate Professor Melatos’s submission addresses several matters listed in the inquiry’s terms of reference.
“Brexit makes it difficult for Australia, because we don’t yet know what the UK’s trade status will be once it makes its exit from the EU,” said Associate Professor Melatos, of the University of Sydney’s School of Economics.
The submission states the UK is likely to become a ‘distressed negotiator’ once Article 50 – which enacts the UK’s departure from the EU – is triggered.
“The greatest risk for Australia is not in moving late or even not at all. The risk for the nation is in not capitalising on a once-in-a-lifetime event to secure maximum trade and investment preferences from the United Kingdom,” said Associate Professor Melatos.
Associate Professor Melatos’s analysis of national bargaining positions suggests that countries such as the United States and Canada will be better placed to exploit the UK’s weakened bargaining status.
For example, if the United States can secure substantial intellectual property concessions, and Canada substantial concessions around access to the UK’s agriculture market, Australia can then benefit by piggy-backing on their efforts to form a stronger baseline for its own deal.
Associate Professor Melatos’s analysis also outlines two post-Brexit scenarios for their effect on Australia’s trade deal prospects.
The first, in which there is no preferential trade deal between the UK and the EU post‐Brexit, would see UK‐EU trade based on World Trade Organization rules, giving the UK complete freedom to strike a deal with Australia.
“This would allow Australia to push for the most aspirational trade agreement possible,” explains Associate Professor Melatos.
A second scenario — where the UK and EU do strike a post-Brexit trade deal — would serve to restrict the concessions that the UK could grant Australia in bilateral negotiations, most likely leading to a less positive outcome for Australia.
Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi will receive the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize at a ceremony in Sydney in November.
Despite centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election, Professor Pippa Norris, writing for the Washington Post, explains it's too early to herald the demise of populism.
Playwright Alana Valentine and writer Mireille Juchau will each receive $100,000 and spend a year based at the centre, alongside clinicians and researchers looking to ease the burden of obesity and chronic disease.