The government’s hopes of securing a Brexit trade deal with New Zealand by the end of August have failed to materialize as negotiators still cling to key areas such as “digital, financial services and mobility “.
The International Trade Department said in June that an agreement in principle could be reached before September, while in July Liz Truss, Secretary of State, said: “We are getting closer to an agreement in principle, with 6 additional chapters now complete. “
A source from Whitehall said that while a breakthrough in the talks was not ruled out, areas such as market access for the UK financial sector are proving to be a problem.
A report released late last week said the Home Office refused to sign proposals after Home Secretary Priti Patel objected to Ms. Truss’s proposals to offer liberalization of services. visa restrictions in talks.
A source close to the talks played down the breakup over the weekend.
“The sticking points are definitely with New Zealanders and not with Cabinet colleagues,” they said.
The deal is expected to follow a form similar to Britain’s recent trade deal with Australia. A tentative deal reached with Australian negotiators and unveiled in June called for a relaxation of visa rules, while granting the country’s farmers generous access to UK markets.
Negotiators from New Zealand and the UK have been in constant contact in recent weeks, but are still deadlocked despite Wellington dispatching its chief negotiator Brad Burgess.
A spokesperson for New Zealand’s Foreign and Trade Ministry said there was “still work to be done to get the deal right.”
They added: “New Zealand is fully committed to negotiating a high quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement with the UK. Our negotiators worked tirelessly to achieve this.
Any deal is likely to have a very limited impact on growth, with the DIT believing that a general deal could even deal an extremely slight blow to UK GDP. But reaching a deal is seen as a demonstration of the benefits of Brexit and could make it easier for Britain to join a key Pacific trade bloc.
A DIT spokesperson said: “Trade talks between the UK and New Zealand are ongoing, but we will not sacrifice quality for speed.
“Both sides are committed to a high-quality free trade agreement, but further progress is needed to reach a win-win deal for the two countries.”
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This notice was published: 2021-09-06 12:58:44