'Fix flawed EU deal!' Brexit-bashing MPs at it again as they fireback at New Zealand pact

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke via video call to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to agree terms of the pact. Hailed as a “world-leading” deal, it is expected to cut red tape for businesses and end tariffs on exports.

Tariffs as high as 10 percent will be removed on a huge range of UK goods, from clothing and footwear to buses, ships, bulldozers and excavators.

The agreement came after 16 months of intense negotiations and has been praised by business groups.

But amid the celebrations, a group of largely former Remainer MPs has said the deal is worth considerably less than trade with the EU and ministers should focus their time on mending relations with Brussels.

Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the cross-party, cross-industry UK Trade and Business Commission, said: “I welcome this announcement, but geographically, New Zealand is one of the most distant countries from us.


“And with a much smaller population than the UK, export opportunities from a new deal will be, while welcome, small in terms of our overall trade.

“Increasing trade with distant nations, with all the CO2 emissions involved in transporting goods, raises profound questions ahead of COP26.

“That’s why the Government must work to improve their flawed deal with the EU to support struggling British businesses and do more to maintain our climate commitments.”

All MPs on the Commission bar one supported Remain in the 2016 referendum.

The Commission was set up by Mr Benn in April to scrutinise the UK’s trade deals.

Its secretariat is provided by the group Best for Britain which was launched in 2017 with the aim of stopping Brexit.

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“This is a fantastic week for Global Britain.

“On Tuesday, we raised almost £10 billion in investment for the industries of the future, and this new deal will help drive green growth here and on the other side of the world in New Zealand.”

Ms Ardern added: “The United Kingdom and New Zealand are great friends and close partners.

“The historical connections that bind us run deep.

“This world-leading free trade agreement lays the foundations for even stronger connections as both countries embark on a new phase in our relationship.

“It is good for our economies, our businesses and our people.”

As well as slashing tariffs, the deal will make it cheaper and easier for Britons to by high-quality New Zealand products such as Sauvignon Blanc wine to Manuka honey and kiwi fruits, will be cheaper to buy.

The Government said that UK workers such as lawyers and architects will also be able to work in New Zealand more easily.

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