Done it again! Brexit Britain secures world leading £2.3bn trade deal with New Zealand

David Mundell on job opportunities from New Zealand trade deal

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Red tape and high tariffs on exports are set to be scrapped under an agreement brokered after 16 months of intense negotiations. It will make it easier for small businesses to trade with Wellington and remove barriers to trade for technology and services.

The deal was agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a video call on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson said: “This is great trade deal for the United Kingdom, cementing our long friendship with New Zealand and furthering our ties with the Indo-Pacific. 

“It will benefit businesses and consumers across the country, cutting costs for exporters and opening up access for our workers.”

High-quality New Zealand products, including Sauvignon Blanc wine, Manuka honey and kiwi fruits, will all be easier and cheaper for Britons to buy in the UK as a result of the deal.

It will also make it easier for professionals such as lawyers and architects to work in New Zealand and simplify travel arrangements for businesses.

Ms Ardern said the new deal would form the basis of even stronger connections in the future.

“The United Kingdom and New Zealand are great friends and close partners,” she said.

“The historical connections that bind us run deep.

“This world-leading free trade agreement lays the foundations for even stronger connections as both countries embark on a new phase in our relationship.

“It is good for our economies, our businesses and our people.”

The two countries originally set a deadline of the end of August to agree a deal.

Wrangling over agricultural rules and a push for a deeper commitment on financial services meant talks had stalled in recent weeks.

But a breakthrough was found after both sides doubled down on efforts to seal a pact.

Commenting on the first trade deal to be struck since taking on her role as International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This deal is a win-win for two like-minded democracies who believe in free and fair trade.

“It delivers for families, workers and businesses across Britain, and sets the stage for greater cooperation between our two nations on global challenges like digital trade and climate change.

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“It is a vital part of our plan to level up the country: slashing costs and red tape for exporters, building new trade routes for our services companies and refocusing Britain on the dynamic economies of Asia-Pacific.”

The deal has been agreed in principle but must still go through formal processes before it can be officially signed off and ratified.

It follows the agreement of trade deals with both Australia and Japan.

All three nations are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade area.

The bilateral agreements will help boost the UK’s accession to the bloc, with negotiations already underway.

The UK is hoping to conclude negotiations to join the CPTPP by the end of 2022.

However, Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow Secretary of state for international trade, said: “It is a deal whose only major winners are the mega-corporations who run New Zealand’s meat and dairy farms, all at the expense of British farmers who are already struggling to compete.

“But for British jobs, growth and exports, this deal is yet another massive failure.”

She added: “As our economy recovers from the pandemic, we need trade deals that will boost jobs and growth, open up big new markets for UK exporters, and support our objectives to buy, make and sell more in Britain.

“This trade deal with New Zealand fails on every count.”

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