NZ’s Brexit shout-out ‘good sign’
A ‘‘shout-out’’ for New Zealand during Britain’s Brexit announcement is a positive sign for future trade ties between the countries, Kiwi MPs on an official visit say.
Labour’s Annette King, National’s Melissa Lee and NZ First’s Tracey Martin were at Parliament in London as British Prime Minister Theresa May formally announced the country was leaving the European Union.
While the focus was firmly on the UK, King said New Zealand received a mention during May’s speech. ‘‘When she was talking about wanting to move to a free trade deal with the EU, one of the [Scottish National Party] MPs interjected, ‘And New Zealand!’
‘‘I think maybe it was helped by the fact we had a meeting with him [earlier] ... but it was nice to get a shout-out.’’
Lee said the MPs had made a case for closer ties with both the UK and EU during their meetings, and had received positive signals.
‘‘One of the things we got very clearly was, in the UK and Brussels, they’re very focused on the relationship they have with New Zealand and they actually want to grow that relationship. Trade with New Zealand is on their minds.’’
However, it was clear nothing could be finalised until trade negotiations between the UK and the EU were finished.
The MPs were in the UK and Europe for inter-parliamentary meetings.