The New Zealand government is now calling for submissions. These follow last year’s Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation with the EU.
What a difference 45 year makes. In those days it was New Zealand doing the wooing, desperate to maintain its access to its old Empire Preference era market.
Now though the passion is requited. The EU Legation in Lambton Quay, established for just this kind of serious eventuality, is no shrinking violet here. It is actively encouraging New Zealand participation in making these submissions.
Journalists are being actively and materially encouraged to drop by EU HQ in Brussels for still more encouragement.
All parties are stopping just short of saying what is abundantly obvious. This is that the EU is much more important than the vaunted TPPA which has to go through an extended validation process by participating nations anyway.
The results of the EU FTA in contrast are likely to more obvious and more immediate.
The schedule is that New Zealand negotiations will start in 2017. With UK sentiment tending to favour withdrawal from the EU, the fixing of the NZ –EU arrangement can be viewed as being timed to perfection. Trade, like nature, fills a vacuum.
From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk