A former New Zealand trade negotiator has been appointed the Government's key adviser for securing trade deals with countries outside the European Union. Crawford Falconer, who has previously described Brexit as a "enormous opportunity", will work with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox to draw up deals ready to go as the UK leaves the EU. A former vice minister for international trade and foreign affairs and ambassador to the World Trade Organisation, the academic is currently a trade professor at Lincoln University. It comes as Mr Fox prepares to visit Washington on Monday for talks about future trade links between…
Monday, 06 March 2017 08:07

Brexit: How New Zealand Might Cope

The strategic view that Britain needs to be in the EU remains universal among New Zealand strategists. However the Leaves did not vote geopolitically but on domestic considerations including, apparently, resentment of immigration and of the unequal gains from trade. New Zealand has little alternative but to accept the direction the Brits are taking, albeit with regret. Withdrawing from the EU is proving more difficult than anyone anticipated. Almost every week there is a revelation of an additional complication. Two years to negotiate the deal is just absurd, indicative of how little David Cameron, the previous British prime minister, had…
The British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke enthusiastically about the opportunities provided by the Commonwealth during a landmark speech on the British Government’s plans for Brexit. Speaking at Lancaster House, London, Mrs May said, “I want us to be a truly Global Britain... A country that goes out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike. “Even now as we prepare to leave the EU, we are planning for the next biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2018 – a reminder of our unique and proud global relationships.” The next Commonwealth Heads of Government…
Monday, 16 January 2017 06:00

May to reveal 'global Britain' Brexit plan

Theresa May is expected to reveal the most detailed insight yet into her approach to Brexit negotiations, in a speech on Tuesday. She will urge people to give up on "insults" and "division" and unite to build a "global Britain". Downing Street said reports she may signal pulling out of the single market and customs union were "speculation". It comes as the chancellor said the UK could "change its economic model" if it loses access to the single market. The BBC's political correspondent, Chris Mason, said Downing Street was confirming little about precisely what Mrs May would say in her…
A new paper backed by former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is calling on the UK to quit the EU's customs union and focus on Commonwealth trade after Brexit. The report, authored by Tory Braintree MP James Cleverly, suggests a five step approach to Britain's trade priorities, beginning with the Commonwealth’s open economies. After setting up “easy win” deals with Australia, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand in time for Brexit in 2019, the UK should pivot to negotiations with India, before deals with the Commonwealth nations of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Finally, Cleverly said the UK should join…
Brexit trade minister and North Somerset MP Liam Fox has admitted Britain will have to effectively have the same trade agreements with other countries around the world – even after leaving the European Union. Dr Fox announced he has opened discussions with 164 other countries in the World Trade Organisation, but because Britain has just two years before it leaves the EU, he will have to 'replicate as far as possible' the current agreements and 'obligations' to the World Trade Organisation. And that - given the Brexit campaign was won largely on the basis of the promise of bespoke trade…