BRITAIN’S golden new age of Commonwealth cooperation got under way with gusto as New Zealand offered a helping hand in securing trade deals with the world’s top economies.
By NICK GUTTERIDGE
The UK’s friends in Wellington are prepared to loan their world-class negotiators to help seal new agreements with global powerhouses like China, India and the US.
New Zealand diplomats have reportedly sent a cable to the British civil service offering their help, and also expressing interest in getting the ball rolling on striking a mutual trade deal.
The Foreign Office is believed to have as few as 40 negotiators and almost none with any real experience, because our trade policy has been outsourced to Brussels for the last 43 years.
But despite the EU having an army of 550 negotiators of its own, it is New Zealand – with a population 4.4 million – that has managed to strike free trade deals with the world’s real big hitters and emerging economies including with China, the USA, Canada, the Gulf States, Singapore and Australia.
In contrast Brussels has a pitiful record at negotiating with the globe’s superpowers and has only managed to seal agreements with the likes of Palestine, Kosovo and the Faroe Islands.
New Zealand PM John Key has extended an olive branch to Britain
Experts say that Britain’s one world-renowned expertise has been weakened by years of palming off trade responsibilities onto the continent, adding that drafting negotiators will be crucial for forging new agreements.
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