23 January 2019: New Zealand exporters need the government to provide certainty over the costs that will be imposed on their goods if a no-deal Brexit occurs, National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“The Government has just signed a mutual recognition agreement between New Zealand and the UK however big questions remain unanswered on tariff rates and quotas for New Zealand goods exported to the UK if a Brexit deal fails.
“The NZ Government said last week that Britain was always heading towards a hard Brexit. This calls into question access for dairy and butter exports to the UK and other EU counties under a preferential quota system.
“In announcing an agreement the Prime Minister has been silent on treatment of our most important exports to the UK and what tariffs and quotas will be applied.
“Unless clarity is provided quickly New Zealand meat and dairy exporters could be adversely affected from 1 April this year.
“The Prime Minister can’t make good on her promise that New Zealand won’t be worse off after Brexit unless we can ensure our exports do not face reduced access or greater tariffs.
“Given the annual $1.6 billion of goods New Zealand exports to the UK, including meat, dairy, fruit and beverages, we need to ensure secure access to this market.
“Our exporters are facing a time of uncertainty in Europe and need the Government to outline whether their talks with the UK provided any certainty in this issue that will leave New Zealand worse off.”