NZ and UK aiming to boost future relationship

Immigration was just one of the many subjects discussed in an hour-long meeting held between the New Zealand and British Prime Ministers yesterday.

The Prime Ministers discussed the importance of immigration policies that facilitate the flow of skilled migration.

“New Zealanders continue to contribute to the UK economy and we welcome large numbers of UK citizens to New Zealand, including on our popular working holiday scheme,” said NZ PM Jacinda Ardern. “I welcomed the recent announcement that New Zealand citizens will soon be able to use e-gates in the UK.

“We also discussed a range of domestic priorities where both countries will benefit from learning from each other’s experiences, including through better regulation.”

Other key areas up for discussion included a mutual commitment to the rules-based international system and the future of the trading relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“We very much value our relationship with the UK. It is our longest-standing relationship, and still one of our closest,” Ardern said. “The clear message we imparted to Prime Minister [Theresa] May today was, whatever the outcome of the Brexit process, we will have an enduring relationship with the UK across trade and the full range of interactions our two countries share.”

On the subject of Brexit, PM May assured her counterpart that New Zealand’s interests would not be affected by Brexit, regardless of the outcome.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “They noted how much their two nations have in common, such as championing free trade, working to uphold the rules based international system, and the many New Zealanders and Brits who choose to call each other’s countries home.

“The two leaders reaffirmed their shared desire to forge an ambitious, high quality free trade agreement after the UK leaves the EU.”

Article published 22nd January 2019