New Zealand is willing to help the United Kingdom negotiate trade deals when it formally leaves the European Union, with the hope the UK will strike a quick deal with New Zealand.
Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, was not ruling out sending New Zealand trade negotiators to the UK.
“I’m not going to forecast what requests they might make, I’m simply saying that they will be looking to put in place a whole new series of relationships and arrangements to replace the EU arrangements they have. They may see some value in, for example, in a quick FTA [free trade agreement] with New Zealand to have a symbolic demonstration effect. Those are the sorts of areas we’ve been talking about.“
Mr McCully spoke with Britain’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Jonathan Sinclair, on Monday, and asked him what the UK might need in preparation for trade negotiations between the two Commonwealth countries:
“I’ve said to him that we understand they’ve got architecture with Europe that will disappear, new architecture they’ll need to replace. We hope a very high priority in that new architecture will be its relationship with New Zealand because we have significant trading interests there“.
“We also know they have a broader field of tradework to undertake and given our very close friendship and historic ties we want to be helpful in any way we can be.”
But Mr McCully said it was still early days.
It will still be some time before the UK formally withdraws from the EU, and that timetable has not yet been set.
Prime Minister, John Key, said that at the moment, New Zealand negotiators were very busy.
“We’ve got a lot happening under our own watch so we’re not really looking to lend people to the UK, but we would certainly if we were really requested…we would give them the benefit of our knowledge but they’ve got some quite sophisticated people as well.”
Mr Key said the challenge for the UK was going to be the sheer volume of people they would need, as they won’t just have to negotiate individual deals with EU members, but other countries around the world.
[Article originally posted by Jane Patterson – Radio New Zealand]
[Image attribution]: John Key – Express