NZ offers trade negotiators to UK

The Herald reports:

New Zealand has offered its top trade negotiators to the United Kingdom, relieving the British civil service as it prepares for the strain of seeking new deals with countries across the globe.

The Telegraph reported New Zealand has made an offer to loan staff to the UK in a diplomatic cable sent to the British civil service, which has few trade negotiators of its own.

Wellington’s olive branch came alongside an offer to discuss a trade agreement with the UK, which would help Britain get out of the starting blocks and begin replacing the trade access lost as a result of the vote.

Experts say that drafting negotiators will be crucial for forging new agreements between the UK and Brussels, as well as with more than 50 other markets with which EU members currently enjoy trade agreements.

Lord Price, the minister for trade and investment, has said that the British Government has around 40 trade negotiators, compared with the 550 employed by the EU.

Whitehall has outsourced trade powers to Brussels for 43 years, meaning that the number of negotiators employed by Government has dwindled.

Looks like the UK has fewer trade negotiators than NZ. Out negotiators are regarded as some of the best in the world, so offering some secondments to the UK is a very good idea to help out a very good friend.

Also if we try and negotiate a NZ-UK FTA, well having NZ negotiators on both sides can only speed things up 🙂

UPDATE: Looks like the original story over-stated things and we have offered general assistance, but not negotiators. Seems they are all busy with our own negotiations.

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