January 2018 - Edition #1


European Union and New Zealand

  • The European Parliament has backed a resolution to open trade talks with New Zealand.  However negotiations cannot begin until EU member states agree a negotiating mandate through the European Council.  The European Commission hopes the mandate will be approved in the first half of 2018.   New Zealand continues to push hard for the launch of these negotiations as soon as possible.

Brexit, United Kingdom and New Zealand

  • It is expected that that the UK will formally leave the EU by the end of March 2019. The focus for Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU in early 2018 will be finalising the exit arrangements in legal form and agreeing the terms of a transition period of around two years from March 2019. The risk of a no deal outcome remains.
  • New Zealand is ensuring our strong trading relationship with the UK can continue through the Brexit process, including laying the groundwork for future free trade negotiations.

Please see attached [PDF, 101 KB] for further details.

Contact Sarah-Rose Williams, Senior Adviser: Export Markets at sarah-rose.williams@mfat.govt.nz for any queries.

Please distribute to any others who might be interested. If they would like to receive this information from MFAT directly, contact us at the above email.