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But the Prime Minister was warned not to hand Canberra a hefty trade pact on a plate without protecting British industries, as one reader insisted “there has to be a price”. UK farmers have warned that any deal which removes tariffs and quotas on imports of red meat from Down Under would seriously damage the British agricultural industry.
And Hugh Killen, Australia’s biggest cattle farmer, has predicted a deal with London would lead to a tenfold increase of beef exports to Britain.
Express.co.uk conducted an exclusive poll to gauge readers’ views on post-Brexit trade negotiations being led by Liz Truss, the international trade secretary.
Asked, “Which nation should Boris Johnson prioritise for a free trade deal?” the majority favoured Australia.
Thirty-nine percent (2,928) said Number 10 should put the Aussies at the front of the pack while 21 percent (1,584) said Canada should come in first.
Nineteen percent (1,381) said the United States, 12 percent (865) pushed for New Zealand and just four percent (277) called for China to be given a deal first.
Only six percent (425) said they didn’t know.
In comments, some readers said post-Brexit trade with Australia was more important than trading with the EU.
One person calling for the Aussies to be given first preference pointed to the two nations’ shared history.
He said: “Blood is a covenant. Australia is our brother.
“We have stood, fought, and died together.”
He even urged Mr Johnson to compromise to a get deal sealed quickly.
A second person wrote: “Just get on with it!
“We can’t announce a strategy of free trade deals around the world, and then not sign one with Australia.”
And yet a third said they “would rather have a free trade deal with Australia than the EU countries.”
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Another reader warned against any immediate trade package with the Americans.
The person said: “There’s little point in a trade agreement with the US at present.
“In fact, it might do some good to tell the Biden administration that we don’t need anything right now.”
They went on to say they “don’t trust Trudeau,” the prime minister of Canada and added: “New Zealand has too many issues” citing its attitude towards China.
The reader said the UK would “need to be tough” with Australia at the negotiating table.
They added: “Australia is currently a focus for Chinese threats.
“If they want UK support, there has to be a price.”
Others expressed scepticism about any upcoming deals and picked apart Mr Johnson’s negotiating style, with one saying: “Boris doesn’t compromise, he surrenders.”
The poll ran from 8am on Monday May 24 to 4pm on May 25.
A total of 7,460 readers took part.
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