New Zealand is “really keen” to strengthen economic ties with the UK after Brexit, the country’s trade minister has said, having “suffered as a consequence” of it first joining the European Economic Community in 1973.
David Parker has stated that a bilateral trade agreement between the UK and New Zealand could emanate from Brexit like “day follows night”, ultimately leading to closer agreements regarding migration and foreign affairs cooperation.
“We are so like-minded and so alike. It just follows that we should have a better trading relationship or trade rule base between the two of us if the UK is in a position to negotiate”, he said this week.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has cited the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans- Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as a big opportunity for the UK, as her government seeks separate trade deals with New Zealand, Australia and Canada after Brexit in March.
Mrs. May insisted this summer that her strategy would “enable us to accede” to CPTPP. Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, also referenced the British approach to the bloc as “pushing at an open door”.
Ministers from across the CPTPP, which was signed this year and will come into force within a few weeks, will convene in Tokyo in January to discuss future members and progression.
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Mr Parker said that New Zealand, with which Britain already shares a £2.7 billion trade relationship, hopes that a bilateral deal between the two countries would cover goods and services from beef to satellite launches. However, he cautioned that the two nations can only go so far in talks “without knowing what the limits are on the UK” as a result of its future relationship with the EU. “We can do a lot, but we can’t conclude things until the UK has some certainty as to where things end between it and Europe.”
Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary, said a trade deal with New Zealand would create jobs and lower prices.
“New Zealand is one of our closest and greatest friends,” he said. “With our deep shared heritage and unwavering commitment to free trade, it is only right that New Zealand is one of the first countries that we will look to strike a new trade agreement with after we leave the European Union.”
The government of New Zealand has been a long standing supporter of the UK generating closer diplomatic ties, after calling for public submissions regarding a future trading relationship between the two countries, and Members of Parliament calling for closer migration agreements once the UK leaves the European Union.
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