Boris Johnson and Gerry Brownlee talk jogging at trade discussions

  • 25/07/2017

Small talk between political players took centre stage during trade talks on Tuesday morning.

Boris Johnson and foreign minister Gerry Brownlee joked about their morning exercise routine and sleeping patterns while waiting for Prime Minister Bill English.

The former London mayor is known as a bit of a character, and ahead of the meeting the pair traded quips about their morning regimes.

Mr Johnson said he "slept like a log" his first night in Wellington.

"It was fantastic; I'm finally getting onto the right zone. I was late for my morning run."

Mr Brownlee replied, "I must have missed you. I was looking for you."

After the pair discussed the cabinet meeting room, Mr Johnson prompted that it was time for a photo, handing him a slip of paper.

Boris Johnson and Gerry Brownlee talk jogging at trade discussions
Photo credit: Newshub.

"Shall we get an historic photo? Wait, wait, wait, this is a symbolic moment."

Handing him a letter from the UK Prime Minister he quipped, "It's coming down the line in a fluid three-quarter movement. The ball's coming back?"

Ahead of their meeting Mr English told reporters he had been looking forward to an "interesting" conversation with Mr Johnson.

Mr Johnson met with the pair to discuss trade and the rights of Kiwis in the United Kingdom.

Mr English said discussions had a strong economic focus but issues around visas for New Zealanders in the United Kingdom and cyber security were also raised.

"We had a pretty wide ranging discussion focused on our relationship and on the way that the UK wants to deal with the wider world positively as it moves out of the European a union," he said.

Mr English said Mr Johnson had been open to the idea of a Commonwealth visa but that prospect was some time down the track. As is a free-trade deal with Britain post-Brexit.

Boris Johnson and Gerry Brownlee talk jogging at trade discussions
Photo credit: Newshub.

"We do have some quite specific interests, particularly around butter and sheep meat," he said.

"These are long-standing historical arrangements with the European Union and we want to make sure that in the process of the UK exiting that our interests are maintained and that's pretty important to those particularly industries here."

The British foreign secretary arrived in Wellington on Monday afternoon after a visit to Kaikoura, where he thanked locals for their generosity and kindness helping Brits stranded after the November earthquake.

Newshub/NZN

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