UK and New Zealand agree a trade deal

Trade between the UK and New Zealand was worth £2.3 billion last year

Jacinda Adern, New Zealand's prime minister, reacts during a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday, June 8, 2020. New Zealand will remove social distancing requirements after reporting zero active cases of Covid-19, indicating it has achieved its aim of eliminating the virus. Photographer: Mark Coote/Bloomberg

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed on a new trade deal with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to reduce taxes on business worth more than £2 billion a year.

The agreement would “remove barriers to trade and deepen access for our advanced tech and services companies”, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said.

In New Zealand, tariffs on some UK goods are as high as 10 per cent. High quality New Zealand consumer goods are also slammed with taxes in the UK.

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

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

The UK signed a similar deal with Australia in June, which was the first deal negotiated from scratch after Britain left the EU.

Trade between the UK and New Zealand was worth £2.3 billion last year, and the DIT said it was set to grow under the new deal, which was reached after 16 months of negotiation.

“This is a fantastic week for Global Britain. On Tuesday, we raised almost £10 billion in investment for the industries of the future, and this new deal will help drive green growth here and on the other side of the world in New Zealand,” Mr Johnson said.

The Government said that UK workers such as lawyers and architects will also be able to work in New Zealand more easily.

“The United Kingdom and New Zealand are great friends and close partners. The historical connections that bind us run deep,” Ms Ardern said.

“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.”

However, shadow trade secretary Emily Thornberry said the deal failed at every level, including for British farmers.

“According to the Government's own figures, this deal will cut employment in our farming communities, produce zero additional growth, and generate just £112 million in additional exports for UK firms compared to pre-pandemic levels. …

“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.”

Updated: October 21st 2021, 11:44 AM
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