A prominent government Minister in the United Kingdom has confirmed that the government of New Zealand are “very keen” to negotiate a free trade agreement once the UK has left the European Union next year.
The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, spoke to BBC Radio 4 from Christchurch, and claimed ongoing discussions between the two countries are highly positive and certain to result in post-Brexit trading relations.
“New Zealand are really positive about signing a free trade agreement with the UK,” he said.
“I have met with the trade minister, I have met with opposition politicians who might be in charge in the future…everybody sees the post-Brexit environment, where the UK will be able to enter these types of agreements, as a really positive thing for New Zealand.”
The opposition politicians Mundell referred to also include the official opposition leader, Simon Bridges MP, who has publicly declared his support for CANZUK free trade and migration agreements.
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“What we can do in a trade arrangement with New Zealand that we cannot do under the EU is to have a more bespoke arrangement which looks at the specific trading arrangements between the UK and New Zealand”, Mundell said.
Talks between the two countries have also steered towards politicians demanding greater visa access for New Zealanders and Britons in each other’s countries, with the National Party’s foreign affairs and trade spokesperson, Todd McClay, stating that “it will be important that Kiwis gain better work visa access to the UK” following the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The growing cooperation between New Zealand and the United Kingdom for greater trade and migration agreements is wholly welcomed by CANZUK International, and we will continue to advocate for such relations developing between all four CANZUK countries.
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