WELLINGTON: New Zealand hopes to negotiate a “high quality” free trade agreement with the UK once it leaves the EU, its prime minister Bill English has said. Following a meeting with Theresa May, he said he hoped this would happen “as soon as possible”. Mrs May said both countries already enjoy a strong and growing trading relationship worth over £3bn last year. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will be visiting New Zealand in the coming months, she said. Mrs May said her colleague would begin a bilateral dialogue between the two nations with the ultimate aim of striking a trade deal.
The small Oceanic country of less than five million people is believed to be seen in government circles as one of the best prospects for an early trade deal once Britain quits the EU. Britain is the second largest foreign investor in New Zealand and its fifth largest bilateral trading partner. It is also one of the global “five eyes” partners which share their security intelligence with the UK, along with the US, Canada and Australia.