25. Weekly Newsletter

UK-Australia Trade Deal

Last week, the UK agreed upon an historic trade deal with one it’s closest allies: Australia. The FTA was agreed during a meeting with PM Johnson and PM Morrison last Tuesday (15th June) in London which is believed to protect 3.5m British jobs. Over the next 15 years the deal will slowly expand to cover wider aspects of the economy and by 2036 all quotas/tariffs on agricultural goods will be stripped (apart from long-grain rice).

Annually, the UK exports approximately £12bn of goods to Australia and imports around half of this value. However, controversy surrounding the deal included the potential impacts upon Britain’s highly regulated agricultural sector from Australia’s lower cost produce which may worsen the market (alternatively, drive down prices) for smaller family farms. A crucial aspect of this trade deal is that it is the first agreement negotiated ‘from scratch’ post-Brexit and was hailed as “global Britain at its best” by the PM.

COVID Update

Over 4.6m people in the UK have now tested positive for COVID but the daily rise in cases has remained consistently low for most of the year- however, cases are drastically rising across the UK. A total of around 128,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus and are highest in the North of England. Nationally, 43.2m people have received their first vaccine and approximately 31.5m of these patients have also received their second dose. This brings the total number of inoculations carried out, by the private sector and National Health Service, to almost 75 million.

The UK’s successful vaccine rollout has now reached the stage in which all adults (aged over 18) are eligible for a vaccine. An official government target for all adults to have been offered a vaccine by the 19th of July has been strategized in order to prepare the nation for an almost full reopening on the same day.

Warehouse Expansions

The boom in online shopping has coincided with a rapid expansion in warehouse logistics across the UK which has led to redevelopment opportunities across central England- within the ‘golden triangle’. The Midlands is already home to twice the warehouse space of Wales, Scotland and London combined partially due to the motorway network being centred around Birmingham.

Since 2015, the area of warehousing in the UK has risen 32% with third party logistics firms and online retailers expanding at the fastest rate. The chief executive of the UK Warehousing Association highlighted the point that the UK is “building 250,000 new homes each year” and thus is creating hundreds of thousands of “new delivery points” which “seems to have been largely overlooked”.

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