A free trade agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom "is a very important priority", says British trade secretary Liz Truss during her official visit to the country this week.
"New Zealand is a huge priority in terms of the UK delivering our new free trade agenda," she told media today. "We are going to be leaving the EU on the 31st of October, with or without a deal, and as part of that agenda striking trade deals is going to be vitally important."
Ms. Truss said she admired New Zealand's experience "in terms of striking free trade deals and opening up to trade around the world”.
"Striking a [trade deal] with New Zealand is a very important priority for the UK, it’s one of the first trade deals we expect to strike. We are going to put the resources that we need to do into that”.
"We have already held a consultation with the British public that got a very, very strong, position response. We are almost ready to start those negotiations,” the British official added.
As part of her visit, Ms. Truss also met with New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.