Ardern and May discuss trade and international security threats

Emerging threats to the global rules based system and international security issues featured in the first meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and British Prime Minister Theresa May in London today at No.10 Downing St.

“The United Kingdom is New Zealand’s oldest friend, and remains one of our closest partners on the world stage so I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss matters of common concern,” said Jacinda Ardern.

The two leaders discussed a range of foreign policy, economic, and defence issues.

“I reiterated New Zealand’s support and solidarity for the United Kingdom following the chemical nerve agent attack in Salisbury, and stressed the seriousness with which New Zealand regarded the incident.

“The Prime Minister and I also expressed our common commitment to cooperating with close partners at a time when the global rules based system is under stress. We committed to continuing to work together to counter the efforts of those who seek to undermine the international order.”

The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their ambition and commitment to progress a comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement following the UK’s departure from the EU.

“An FTA between New Zealand and the United Kingdom has the potential to provide a model for what can be achieved in a high quality, comprehensive and progressive trade agreement.

“In addition, we underlined our shared interest in ensuring continuity and stability in the trade relationship as the UK moves to exit the EU. We noted the draft text agreed by the UK and the EU at the March European Council, and that New Zealand would be no worse off as result of Brexit.

“I also emphasised to Prime Minister May the continued interest we have in ensuring skilled New Zealanders can access the UK labour market in the future.

“This is an exciting time for the bilateral relationship. I look forward to working with Prime Minister May to strengthen our ties in a manner that is worthy of the deep historical and cultural links between our two countries,” said Jacinda Ardern.