A trade deal with New Zealand could be finished within weeks, cutting tariffs on car and gin exports as well as imports of white wine.
With round three of the negotiations starting on Sunday, hopes are high that a deal between the two countries could be close, according to the Sun.
A government source close to the talks told the Sun: “We hope to get a deal over the line within the next few months, and maybe sooner if things go well.”
Trade between the UK and New Zealand is currently valued at £3bn a year.
The government has been negotiating new trade terms with several countries following the country’s departure from the EU last year.
As well as negotiating new deals from scratch with countries like New Zealand and Australia, the UK has also been negotiating continuity deals with markets it already had preferential trade terms with as a member of the EU, such as Canada and South Korea.
When the UK left the EU single market and customs union at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, it had rolled over EU trade terms with 60 out of a possible 70 countries.
The UK’s medium to long-term strategy is to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a bloc of 11 countries around the Pacific Rim.
According to Policy Exchange the accession process requires the UK to get agreement from all 11 existing members.
However, bilateral deals with individual members, such as New Zealand and Australia, are likely to smooth the future accession process.
The UK’s hopes of securing a deal with the US have been dampened since President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in last year’s election. Biden has recently stated that he is prioritising the US’ domestic economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of international trade deals.
A success in these negotiations could help trade secretary Liz Truss earn a promotion, according to the Daily Mail.
Boris Johnson has been impressed by her performance heading up DIT and has earmarked her for a senior position as he looks to promote more female ministers to the upper echelons of his government.