Last-ditch EU-Australia trade deal talks suddenly collapse in bitter blow for Brussels


Last-ditch trade talks between the European Union and Australia have collapsed in a bitter blow for Brussels.

In a statement on Sunday, Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell said the two sides had not been able to make progress.

Mr Farrell elaborated on the informal discussions: "Negotiations will continue and I am hopeful that, one day, we will sign a deal that benefits both Australia and our European friends."

The talks between Brussels and Canberra, which had been taking place on the sidelines of a G7 meeting in Japan, were seen as a final attempt by the two to solve their differences.

However, these discussions soon broke down and collapsed.

According to Politico, Australia theatrically walked out of talks in July as they said the EU's offer wouldn't give Australia's farm produce enough access.

In response, Australia's trade minister said that if Brussels's offer was "not good enough" then they would walk away from the deal.

According to reports, one of Australia's main goals is to gain access to Europe's beef, sugar, and sheep meat markets.

On the other hand, Brussels is reportedly keen to gain access to Australia's large reserves of strategic minerals.

The collapse of talks between the EU and Australia comes just months after the trade deal between the UK and Australia went live.

From May 31, British businesses were able to start selling to both Australia and New Zealand.

According to the Government, under the deal's beneficial terms, tariffs on all UK goods exported to the two countries would be removed.

What's more, they said that the agreements had the potential to result in cheaper prices for UK customers on wine and kiwi fruit.

In a statement at the time, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: "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."

Nigel Huddleston, the minister for International Trade, said: "It is incredibly exciting to be visiting DHL to see some of the first shipments leave 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 favourable terms for British exporters, removing tariffs on all UK goods and slashing red tape."

Alongside benefiting businesses, the government claimed young people would benefit from the expansion of the Youth Mobility and Working Holiday Maker visa scheme.

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