Post-Brexit deal: Jacinda Ardern, Theresa May agree to protect New Zealand businesses

Jacinda Ardern and Theresa May have signed an agreement to protect New Zealand businesses through Brexit.

The Prime Minister met with her British counterpart in London on the same day Ms May presented her Brexit Plan B to the House of Commons.

Ms Ardern's trip was planned months ago, so the clash was unintentional, but there were concerns Ms May had far bigger things to deal with than trade with New Zealand.

Ms Ardern says the agreement she's signed with Ms May means businesses and exporters won't be any worse off, despite Brexit.

Australia has a similar agreement with the UK and the US is also expected to get one.

"Businesses can continue with confidence knowing that our products will continue to be treated in the same way in the UK," Ms Ardern said in London.

"A mutual recognition agreement was signed between the UK and New Zealand.

"Essentially what that will mean for New Zealand businesses is that they will be no worse off regardless of scenarios from the day that any Brexit arrangements come into force."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and British Prime Minister Theresa May shake hands at Downing St in London on January 21.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and British Prime Minister Theresa May shake hands at Downing St in London on January 21. Photo credit: Reuters

The UK is currently worth $3 billion for Kiwi exports. And the building uncertainty around Brexit is a growing concern.

"This brilliant news for New Zealand exporters who are exporting their goods at the moment into the European Union," Newshub's Europe Correspondent, Lloyd Burr, told The AM Show on Tuesday.

"It means that, regardless of what happens with Brexit, whether there's a no deal or whether it gets extended, they will still be able to send their goods into the United Kingdom without having to change their current export certificates."

It's an interim measure until Brexit happens, he explained.

"It's not a free trade deal between the UK and New Zealand, but it's very significant, and it will come as a huge sigh of relief for Kiwi exporters who are concerned."

The deal only applies to those who have existing EU trade certificates.

After meeting with Ms May, Ms Ardern will be off to Europe to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson is accompanying Ms Ardern on the Northern Hemisphere sojourn.

Newshub.

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