Britain and New Zealand have reached an agreement in principle on a free trade deal designed to reduce tariffs, improve services trade and take London one step closer to membership in a broader trans-Pacific trade agreement. Prime ministers Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern sealed the deal over a video call on Wednesday after 16 months of negotiation.
It comes only months after a similar British agreement with Australia as ministers in London look to flesh out a post-Brexit pivot away from relying on commerce with the European Union.
Tariffs on 97 percent of the products will be eliminated for both countries the day the deal comes into force.
In response to the deal being signed, Express.co.uk readers were jubilant and took the opportunity to remind doubters Britain is back in business.
MI7 started the ball rolling by saying: “There’s just no stopping Brexit Britain, a massive success. Remember Project Fear? poor Remoaners, egg on their face.”
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Reminding the readers of Britain’s newfound sovereignty, Robbieat20 said: “Dear Mr & Mrs Remoaners, over the last nine months we the British have built an alliance with other Democratic sovereign countries. We are now trading not only with our old partners but with Asia pacific partners with a collective wealth of £9 Trillion pounds! So Mr & Mrs Remoaner, move to the EU you are not wanted!”
Another reader, Deg, said: “Any trade deal outside of the EU is going to benefit Britain. For 40 years our farmers and manufacturers have been held back by the strict protectionist rules and regulations laid upon on us by Brussels. Freedom was what we Brexiteers voted for and that is exactly what these new trade deals give us.”
Luckytwo2 brought to light the idea of the EU, and in particular France building barriers against the UK, proving the deal can overcome bureaucratic hurdles from Brussels, saying: “This deal will take away barriers, leading to 2.3 billion of FREE trade, good for all the UK at a time when the EU and France are building barriers up to stop the UK from trading as an independent democratic country. Three free trade deals more to come, no silly deliberate obstructive issues like we have with the EU. Happy days are here again.”
Gill01271 was happy at the deal, hoping there would be more to come by saying: “Anything that will make us less reliant on the EU is ok by me, more of the same please.”
Tiddy Doll not only commented on the anger of the Remainers who slammed the deal but mentioned the advantages of a deal bringing good news to Brexit Britain.
The reader said: “The fact that Remoaners and EU trolls are getting so agitated by the UK getting trade deals from around the world shows how good this trade deal is! It is not a large deal on its own, only fools would expect it to be when you look at the size of New Zealand! The significance of this deal is to open up the CPTPP, which is the real deal. It also has the added advantage of supplying food out of season in the UK and supplying things like wine which will take trade from France and Spain! A win-win! What’s not to like!”
Some people, however, were highly critical of the deal, suggesting British farmers would lose out to cheaper NZ imports. But others argued this could in fact boost British farmers in the long run.
UK Patriot 48 said: “Our farmers have got to become more efficient. Constant subsidies under the EU have made them lazy and reliant on handouts. NZ has the most efficient farming in the world so a bit of competition will get our farmers up to speed. No one owes anybody a living.”
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Backagain said: “We all recall the EU boasting that the UK would be insignificant and an insular little island when we leave the EU and nobody would want to trade with us. How wrong they are as we KNEW they would be!! The UK is going from strength to strength.”
The deal was also received with some scepticism by the Labour Party and, in particular, Emily Thornberry who suggested it would bring no advantages to Britain.
Commenting on this, Nelson Montgomery said: “Typical Remoaning Thornberry, always being negative. Never a positive thought and doesn’t notice that it’s a deal that helps SMEs which helps create jobs and boosts the economy.”