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17 June, 2021

Katter: UK Free Trade Agreement a Joke

The recently announced Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) has been savaged by Kennedy MP, Bob Katter.

By Peter McCullagh

The recently announced Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) has been savaged by Kennedy MP, Bob Katter.

Katter claims the agreement does not give unfettered and immediate access to the lucrative UK markets and is holding back the Australian beef, lamb and dairy industries.

In a media conference yesterday in Canberra, Katter claimed that Australian producers will have to wait up to 15 years to get full access to the UK markets.

“There will probably be four or five changes of Government in the UK during that time, and who knows what ideological bent they will have,” Mr Katter said.

“I represent one of the biggest exporting electorates in Australia with copper, cane, and cattle, and I also represent one of the biggest dairy areas in the nation. The Agriculture Minister has described this as a good deal well I’m sorry Minister, this anything but a good deal.

“There’s also an eight year wait for full access to the UK market for our sugar farmers. The Minister can’t be serious.”

Mr Katter compared the performance of the current Agriculture Minister to former Country Party leader, Jack McEwen.

“Jack did his deal with the UK on cattle and it wasn’t in a free trade deal,” he said.

“He kicked up the price for cattle by 25 percent. Every single bit of beef we could produce in Australia was going into the UK. That’s the difference between a tough guy and the current weak Government we have.

“We’ve been bent over the barrel at every free trade deal negotiated in the last 20 years. I remember Tony Abbott leading the applause for Andrew Robb after he sealed the China free trade agreement. I said to Andrew Wilkie that Robb would be gone in six months, he was gone in three months.

“How useful has the free trade deal been with China? They are spitting upon it. We’ve honoured all our commitments. We are a bunch of dummies. China has cut off almost every one of our commodities of significance that we send there. And yet we keep buying their stuff.”

Mr Katter said instead the Government should trade aggressively with nationalistic intent.

“Either you are an economic nationalist, or you are an economic rationalist and this place has been populated exclusively with economic rationalists and it has served this country disastrously,” he said.

“Almost everything you buy is from overseas. We are a net importer of fruit and vegetables. So how good are these free trade deals?”


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