The Prime Minister of New Zealand has vowed her country will stand by Britain after Brexit, encouraging it to leave the EU on terms which will allow the Kiwis to deepen their commercial ties to the mother country.
Jacinda Ardern highlighted the fact that “four in every five New Zealanders still claims British heritage; our foundational Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 was signed by Māori chiefs and representatives of Queen Victoria, and our people served alongside one another through two world wars” in a column for the Telegraph, as well as her own “deep personal connection” to the kingdom.
“Ours is not just a friendship based on history, it’s one that feels as necessary now as it ever has,” she insisted.
“Our countries share common commitments, whether in relation to democracy, human rights, a rules-based order, trade or preservation of peace and security. We are a natural partner on the key issues of our time.”
Ms Ardern hinted strongly that she want to see Britain make a much cleaner break from the bloc than the European Union and its British partisans in Parliament may be comfortable with, revealing she wants the United Kingdom and New Zealand to “take our trade and investment relations to the next level.”
This would not be possible if the British remained tied to the EU Customs Union, which slammed a tariff wall down on old partners like New Zealand, weakening commercial ties between Britain and its Commonwealth allies and causing once-staple products such as New Zealand butter to gradually disappear in favour of more expensive European produce.
“The UK remains New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner,” the Kiwi leader pointed out.
“But there is the potential to deepen this partnership further. A modern, high-quality free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the UK would go a long way towards unlocking this potential, enabling businesses in both countries to work more closely together to seize opportunities in the global economy.
“New Zealand is ready to begin negotiations towards a bilateral FTA when the UK is in a position to do so,” she added — appearing to implicitly discourage a Brexit which would leave Brussels in control of Britain’s international trade policy, as it is at present.
The Australian government has also been pushing hard for a swift and comprehensive trade agreement with Britain after Brexit, excoriating the “hugely damaging” trade policies which Britain has been party to while subject to EU policy.
Perhaps the most crucial olive branch extended to the British so far was offered by their American cousins, with the Trump administration repeatedly assuring the kingdom that it will be at the “front of the line” for a powerful new trade agreement after Brexit.
This directly contradicts the threats of the Remain campaign and the now-departed Obama administration prior to the 2016 referendum, which suggested that the British people would be punished if they voted Leave by being sent to the “back of the queue” and excluded from the EU-U.S. TTIP deal — now dead.
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