Greg Hands hailed his boss’s negotiations with Canberra as he said export tariffs would be slashed as part of the agreement.
He told MPs: “Our trade agreement with Australia is very likely to be the first from-scratch deal we have struck outside of the European Union.
“This is a major milestone for global Britain and a major prize secured for our newly independent trade policy.
“It is on course to slash tariffs on iconic UK exports, saving businesses potentially around £115million a year.
“The deal will be the most advanced that Australia has struck with any nation bar New Zealand and where we expect it to be particularly forward-leaning in areas such as services, procurement and digital trade.
“This will be a great deal for the UK and our farmers will continue to thrive.
“The agreement is a gateway into the massive CPTPP free trade area in Asia-Pacific, opening doors for our farmers into some of the biggest economies now and the future.
“Our food is among the best in the world and incredibly competitive. We should be positive, not fearful of the opportunities that exist for our agriculture and our farmers.”
More to follow…