The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) this month has presented Queensland with a unique opportunity to redefine its trade relationship with the UK.

The UK exited the EU on 1 February and the transition period is due to last until 31 December 2020.

Until then, the UK will remain in both the EU customs union and single market.

Agent-General and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt said nothing will change for Australians living, working and or doing business with the UK and the EU before 31 December.

‘Brexit is likely to present an opportunity to strengthen business relations between the UK and Queensland as well as the EU, as both the UK and EU look for new trading partners outside of each other,’ Ms Apelt said.

‘It is timely that the Global CEO Scale-Up program, organised by QUT, Creative Enterprise Australia and TIQ, started here in the UK in the first week post-Brexit.

‘TIQ Europe is optimistic about being able to increase the export of Queensland specialty food and agriculture products into both the UK and EU markets in the future.’

Queensland and the UK have a significant trade and investment relationship.

In 2019, the UK was Queensland’s sixteenth-largest goods trading partner and the state’s fourth-largest source of tourists, providing 216,000 visitors to Queensland in the year ending September 2019.

TIQ Principal Analyst Simon Fischer said Brexit was unlikely to have long-term economic impacts on direct trade with the UK, though there may be short-term issues as agreements are negotiated.

‘The UK Government’s vision of a “Global Britain” campaign includes looking to old friends for trade and investment,’ Mr Fischer said.

‘An Australian free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK is a high priority and negotiations with the UK are underway.

‘A comprehensive Australia-UK FTA would ensure our trade and investment relationship reaches its full potential by removing barriers to trade, expanding services linkages and investment ties, and modernising the rules governing trade in goods, services and investment.

Mr Fischer warned that exporters should also be aware of Brexit’s impacts on the British economy.

‘The success of the UK’s trade negotiations may influence the price of the pound, affecting the British demand for imports,’ he said.

‘However, some sectors such as financial and insurance services and agriculture may see an improvement in their ability to export to the UK under new trade rules.’

If you would like advice on exporting to the UK, connect with TIQ today.