18 Jun 2016

Brexit good for NZers wanting to work in UK - Farage

12:35 pm on 18 June 2016

A British withdrawal from the European Union would be good for New Zealanders wanting to work in Britain, claims the leader of the UK Independence Party.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage Photo: AFP

British voters will decide whether to stay in the European Union in a referendum on Thursday, with the issue sparking fierce debate both in Britain and the rest of the EU..

UKIP leader Nigel Farage told TV3's The Nation today that the UK had to currently favour migrants from Europe over those from Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand.

He said New Zealanders wanting to work in Britain were being treated unfairly.

"Certainly the kind of immigration policy that we're looking to have would be fairer to New Zealanders than what we've currently got, because at the moment we are making it very hard for you to come here because we have a complete open door to Southern and Eastern Europe. So I'm not saying we'd open our doors to everybody in New Zealand, but at the moment, you're getting a really rotten deal."

The spokesman for Britain Stronger in Europe, James McGrory, said Mr Farage and his supporters wanted to cut immigration.

He told The Nation he did not believe a vote to leave would help New Zealanders wanting to work in Britain.

"The idea that these leave campaigners who have been against immigration of all sorts, throughout their entire political careers, are suddenly going to hand out more visas to New Zealanders or Australians or other people from the Commonwealth is an utter, utter nonsense."

Recent polls have seen the 'leave' vote gaining traction, despite warnings from countries and financial institutions around the world.

The latest report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said a vote to exit the European Union in next week's referendum could leave Britain's economy down by more than 5 percent by 2019.

A study by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) said the post-Brexit picture was "horribly murky" but it was clear incomes there would fall if Britain voted to leave the European Union, and New Zealand's exports would fall by an estimated $190 million a year.

Germany - the UK's biggest trade partner in Europe - recently warned of "a nationalism that pits one European state against another".

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