This step reinforces existing commitments by both countries to begin negotiations for a future free trade deal after the UK has left the EU.
The government of New Zealand is seeking views about a free trade agreement with the UK and has today (Friday 23 November) issued a call for written submissions.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox has welcomed the step, which will help to ensure that trade talks can begin after we leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.
New Zealand’s Trade and Export Minister David Parker noted that the UK is one of New Zealand’s ‘oldest friends’ and that ‘a trade deal makes a lot of sense’. He added that both countries have similar legal structures and he expects a high quality and comprehensive free trade agreement can be agreed.
This reinforces existing commitments by both countries to begin negotiations after the UK has left the EU.
New Zealand is the second country to launch a consultation about a new free trade agreement with the UK. The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer launched a request for comments last week.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:
New Zealand is one of our closest and greatest friends. With our deep shared heritage and unwavering commitment to free and fair trade, it is only right that New Zealand is one of the first countries that we will strike an new trade agreement with after we leave the European Union.
I am delighted that New Zealand’s Trade Minister David Parker is taking the necessary steps so we can begin to negotiate a highly ambitious free trade agreement that is fit for the 21st century. This will help to create jobs in both our countries and give consumers greater choice at lower prices, as well as pulling British businesses closer to the rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific region.
New Zealand’s Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said:
The UK is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends, and a free trade agreement makes a lot of sense. Our shared history, similar legal structures and openness to trade mean a high quality, comprehensive and progressive free trade agreement is a natural next step after Brexit.
Both New Zealand and the UK have committed to launching negotiations as soon as the UK is in a position to do so.
The trade of goods between the UK and New Zealand was worth £2.72 billion last year, with British exports increasing by 10% on 2016.
A new free trade agreement is expected to further increase this trade, creating jobs and giving consumers more choice at lower prices.
The Department for International Trade has already held four public consultations on new free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand, as well as potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Our consultations closed on 26 October and were open for a total of 14 weeks, which is two weeks longer than the European Commission holds its consultations for. We are currently analysing responses and will publish our approach to new free trade agreement before negotiations begin.
- The New Zealand Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker published a call for public submissions on a free trade agreement with the UK on Friday 23 November: New Zealand consultation website
- The US Trade Representative published a request for comments on negotiating objectives for a UK-US trade agreement on Friday 16 November: United State’s consultation website
- The UK-New Zealand Trade Policy Dialogue was founded in October 2016 and has so far met five times. These meetings have built shared understanding of each other’s systems and made important preparations before negotiations begin.