NZ and UK sign interim trade deal

By Moana Makapelu Lee

New Zealand businesses will be no worse off, whatever the outcome of the Brexit process according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after her meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing St in London this morning (NZT).

NZ’s ties with the UK will remain largely unchanged after both countries signed a mutual agreement this morning which will give an interim deal for NZ exporters to ensure trade will continue to flow freely when the UK leaves the EU.

One Māori winery business in Blenheim which exports to the UK told Te Kāea they weren't too concerned but were still awaiting the outcome of Brexit to see how it might affect them.

Both prime ministers also discussed a free trade agreement, reaffirming their commitment to negotiate when the UK were in a position to do so.

In a press statement Ardern said NZ welcomed the UK's interest in joining the CPTPP.

“New Zealand supports the expansion of CPTPP to parties willing and able to meet the high standards of the agreement.”

Ardern also discussed immigration issues for New Zealand citizens in the UK.

“New Zealanders continue to contribute to the UK economy and we welcome large numbers of UK citizens to New Zealand, including on our popular working holiday scheme.  I welcomed the recent announcement that New Zealand citizens will soon be able to use e-gates in the UK.”

Ardern will travel to Davos for the World Economic Forum where she plans to promote the government's “world-first” wellbeing budget alongside Finance Minister Grant Robertson.