As the UK and New Zealand are about to announce that they have reached agreement in principle on a trade agreement, I've heard that the UK and Australia are struggling to move on to the next stage in the trade relationship.

The deal was announced in June with great fanfare, causing alarm for farmers with the open door access for beef and sheepmeat to the UK market.

Australian trade minister Dan Tehan was in the UK last week and the expectation was that there would be a signing ceremony.

‘Ink the deal’

However, he returned home empty handed, talking about having good discussions and being “millimetres away from being able to ink the deal.”

The Dealer thinks it is probably right that they take their time to understand and sort out all the details before signing, as the NI protocol shows it gets a bit messy when you try to make changes after signing up.