The British High Commissioner for New Zealand, Laura Clarke, has confirmed that trade arrangements will continue between the UK and New Zealand after Brexit, and only upsides exist for New Zealanders wishing to work, travel and study in the UK upon it’s departure from the European Union.
Speaking with Q+A this week, Laura Clarke was interviewed by host Corin Dann about the ongoing difficulties for the UK departing the European Union.
The UK was expected to leave the European Union on March 29th, but has continued to delay its departure with numerous debates and motions reaching a stand-still in parliament. As a result, the prospect of a “No Deal” Brexit draws closer, meaning the UK would depart the European Union later this month without any trade or migration arrangements in place.
When questioned about New Zealand’s response to the ongoing stand-still, Clarke responded:
“We are preparing for a no deal Brexit and we’ve done a lot to prepare. From a New Zealand perspective, we’ve put measures in place to ensure that bilateral trade can continue as it does now. So through mutual recognition of standards, that will mean that trade can still flow”.
Continuing trade relations between the UK and New Zealand were finalized in 2018, ensuring that all aspects of exports and imports would continue as normal once the UK departs the EU’s customs union.
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But concerns were raised about the issue of immigration to the UK once it leaves the EU. When questioned about this, Clarke emphasized that Brexit would not hinder access to the UK for New Zealanders, but would instead improve opportunities for its citizens:
“In terms of immigration policy, that’s a really interesting area, and I know one that’s of great interest to New Zealanders always. Firstly, New Zealanders are going to get access to the e-Gates later this year at Heathrow, so when New Zealanders arrive in London, their arrival will be much smoother.
But the second thing is once [the UK] leaves the European Union, the UK will have its own national immigration policy, and last year, the government published a white paper setting out what its future immigration policy would look like.
“One of my messages is, because I know lots of people are concerned about this, I don’t see any downside for New Zealanders in terms of access to the UK as a result of Brexit. I only see upsides”.
The assurance by Clarke comes after MPs for New Zealand’s National Party called for greater visa access between the CANZUK countries, and building upon the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement to include Canada and the United Kingdom for free movement of citizens with Australia and New Zealand.
The full interview can be veiwed here.
CANZUK International will continue to work with government officials and diplomats in New Zealand, and emphasize the need for greater trade and migration arrangements between the CANZUK countries as the UK negotiates its departure from the European Union.
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