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Free Trade Agreement: New Zealand

Volume 681: debated on Thursday 8 October 2020

A free trade agreement with New Zealand is a priority for the UK Government. Trade negotiators from the UK and New Zealand held the first round of negotiations between 13 and 24 July 2020, and a second round of negotiations is due to begin on 19 October. New Zealand are a global leader when it comes to trade policy and trade agreements, and it is always a pleasure to deal with them.

I thank the Minister for his answer. He may be aware that prior to my first election in 2010, I worked closely with our colleague the Prime Minister in his former role as London’s Mayor and various members of the New Zealand Government to secure appropriate recognition for Sir Keith Park, the defender of London. I am pleased therefore to see our strengthened trade links with New Zealand, but does my right hon. Friend agree with me and others that we need to go further to strengthen commercial and political ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK and seize the chances that Brexit presents for the UK?

I thank my hon. Friend for his words of praise for the previous Mayor of London, who did a much better job than the current incumbent. I recently met the New Zealand high commissioner. The Secretary of State speaks regularly with the New Zealand Trade Minister. I did a webinar with New Zealand businesses recently. We want to have a cutting-edge deal as soon as possible. In terms of the broader relationship with Canada and Australia, I am very sympathetic to what my hon. Friend says, but I think the answer to that lies within the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, of which Canada, Australia and New Zealand are members.