23 Nov 2018

Government seeks input on plans for post-Brexit deal with UK

9:26 pm on 23 November 2018

The government is calling for public submissions on a post-Brexit free trade agreement with the United Kingdom.

David Parker, Minister for Economic Development, Environment, and Trade and Export Growth.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker says any trade deal with the United Kingdom will protect the environment, gender equality and indigenous rights. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

"The UK is one of New Zealand's oldest friends, and a free trade agreement makes a lot of sense," Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said.

"Both New Zealand and the UK have committed to launching negotiations as soon as the UK is in a position to do so."

New Zealand would seek an agreement that safeguards protections for labour and the environment, and promotes gender equality and indigenous rights.

"We want to reduce costs and barriers for New Zealand businesses operating with the UK," Mr Parker said.

"Our exports to the UK are already worth over $1.5 billion annually, and there is an opportunity to grow the links between our economies even further."

The deal would include protections for the Treaty of Waitangi and maintain the government's right to pass laws in the public interest, he said.

"The work and living rights of New Zealanders in the UK may also be part of future discussions, as we look to forge a closer economic relationship with the UK post-Brexit."

Submissions can be made in writing to UKFTA@mfat.govt.nz.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs