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Source: New Zealand Government

As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 31 January, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has signalled that New Zealand will look to build on its relationship with the UK, as well as recommitting to New Zealand’s important relationship with the EU. 

“As the UK exits the EU our close and long-standing friendships will continue,” said Mr Peters.

“New Zealand and the UK already cooperate closely on defence and security issues, have cultural connections through history and migration, are strong supporters of the multilateral system, and share many values that we seek to uphold on the world stage.”

“There is potential for us to work even more closely on international issues, particularly in the Pacific as the UK increases its diplomatic presence in the region and through the Commonwealth. The UK is hosting the COP26 climate meeting later this year, and that will be another platform for us to work together on issues of global importance.

“The Government has already begun discussions with the UK on ways to further strengthen our future trade relationship, and welcomes the UK’s confirmation that New Zealand will be in the first tranche of partners for free trade agreement negotiations.

“The ability for New Zealanders to live and work in the UK for a period of time remains an important element of our relationship, and we look forward to working with the UK to maximise opportunities for this.

“While today marks a new chapter in the UK’s history, New Zealand’s relationship with the EU remains as important as ever.  We are making good progress on the EU-New Zealand FTA, and continue to work closely with the EU on many areas of mutual interest, including upholding the global rules-based system and meaningful action on climate change,” said Mr Peters.