The UK is looking to secure its next post-Brexit trade deal with New Zealand, following the agreement it reached with its southern hemisphere neighbour Australia earlier this week.
International trade secretary Liz Truss held talks with her New Zealand counterpart Damien O’Connor in London today (17 June) to progress the negotiations.
A Whitehall official told the FT that the talks represent “the next big game in town” for UK trade.
Farming for services
Like the Australia deal, New Zealand wants to secure tariff cuts for its agricultural exports.
The UK is looking for “more on investment, mobility and services”, according to the FT’s government source.
A Daily Telegraph source at the Department for International Trade also said that a deal would be “fundamentally liberalising, high standard and advanced in areas like services”.
The added: “We want to keep the momentum going that’s been created by the Aussie deal. The agreement will be similar in shape to Australia.”
The deal, which could be reached this summer, could boost British exports by £100m a year, the Express reports.
Deals with Australia and New Zealand also represent a key milestone in the UK’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Liz Truss has told the BBC that Australian beef imports will not flood the UK market, despite concerns from the UK farming industry.
Farmers will be protected for 15 years by a cap on tariff-free imports of meat, while dairy produce will be similarly safeguarded for five years.
Boris Johnson emphasised the protection being offered to UK farmers when he announced the deal with Australian PM Scott Morrison, the Guardian reports.
“We are opening up to Australia, but we are doing it in a staggered way,” he said. “We are retaining safeguards and making sure that we have protections against sudden influxes of goods and also making sure that we adhere to the strongest possible standards for animal welfare”.
The government published the 17-page agreement today.