Tuesday, 19 December 2017 14:55

Brexit deal clears way for NZ negotiators

Written by  Peter Burke
Mike Petersen. Mike Petersen.

The recent deal struck between the UK and EU over Brexit is indirectly good news for New Zealand.

That’s the view of Mike Petersen, NZ’s special agricultural trade envoy, who’s been in Europe meeting with various people involved in the Brexit process.

Petersen told Rural News of a significant deal. He says it is progress and covers three major sticking points: the agreement on a ‘soft’ border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, the UK’s financial settlement for leaving the EU and the rights of citizens living within the two jurisdictions.

But Petersen says the issue that particularly interests NZ, tariff rated quotas (TRQs) for lamb, was not discussed.

“In reality it was always out on a limb anyway and unfortunately that issue is still going to have to be addressed. That is the disappointing aspect of it, but to be honest I wouldn’t have expected it to be in their discussions.”

Petersen says other more pressing issues – such as the Irish border – needed to be resolved. The good news now is that the deal has prevented a ‘no deal’ between the two parties, which was touted as a possibility. Peterson believes with this deal the EU and the UK can work on their future relationship and the issue of the TRQs could be part of that. In respect of the Republic of Ireland, Petersen says there are major issues still to be resolved on trade with the UK. He notes that, for example, 70% of the cheddar cheese used in the UK comes from Ireland.

“Ireland’s reliance on the UK is significantly greater in proportion than NZ’s reliance on the UK.”

Petersen says that while visiting Europe to advocate for NZ’s agri food sector he’s made a point of encouraging ministers, officials and lobby groups to come to NZ.

He doesn’t think NZ has all the answers, but thinks it is important for UK officials to get out and see the world from a different perspective and see the lessons we learned from our reforms and what could be applicable for them in the UK .

“At the moment, Brexit is like living in cardboard box and they are becoming so consumed with the Brexit issues that it is hard for them to focus on the bigger picture.”

Petersen says next year there will be a steady stream of visitors from the UK and Europe coming to NZ and he also has plans to go to Europe himself.

 

More like this

Brexit in my face

Peter Burke has spent the last three weeks observing Brexit first-hand in England and Ireland. 

Don’t mention the ‘B’ word!

OPINION: You'd be forgiven if your eyes were starting to glaze over reading yet another Brexit headline, but we seem to be getting to the sharp end of things now.

Woke crowd a challenge for meat

Meat consumption has dropped 20% in continental Europe and the UK in the last two-three months and it’s not all due to the summer heat, says the NZ red meat sector’s man in London, Jeff Grant.

Brexit and NZ's meat industry

If Britain crashes out of the EU at the end of October it will be unlikely to seriously affect the New Zealand meat industry.

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Quota watch

The Hound understands that Mike Petersen’s time as NZ agriculture’s special trade envoy will soon end.

What a jerk

Your old mate notes that serial whinger Mike Joy continues to put the boot into the farming sector.

» Connect with Rural News