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NZ-EU Trade Deal in Deep Trouble

Fletcher Tabuteau MP

New Zealand First Spokesperson

for Trade and Commerce
9 JANUARY 2017

NZ-EU Trade Deal in Deep Trouble Following European Court Opinion

New Zealand First questions the priorities and sensibilities of the new Prime Minister about the proposed NZ-European ‘free trade’ deal after a stunning opinion from the European Court of Justice.

“It has been several weeks since the European Court of Justice’s Advocate-General, Eleanor Sharpston, released an opinion stating that the European Union’s (EU) proposed deal with Singapore must be ratified by all 27-member states,” says Fletcher Tabuteau, New Zealand First Spokesperson on Trade.

“It means any deal with New Zealand would not only have to negotiate the current triple-lock of the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and European Parliament, but negotiations will also have to include 27 national parliaments, and at least five regional and linguistic parliaments in Belgium and at least five upper chambers. New Zealand has already had a hard time trying to become a member of the free-trade block and this process makes it even more difficult.

“Given the all-powerful European farmer lobby likes New Zealand like a hole in the back of the head, our deal with EU isn’t going to go very far, very fast. The Irish, Polish and French, even the Germans have concerns about allowing NZ dairy into their free-trade deals.

“If we continue to snooze we’ll lose, which is why we need to face facts and put our energies into a more likely trade deal with the United Kingdom.

“New Zealand has already started the conversation with the United Kingdom over trade deals, and New Zealand First believes this should be a priority. Once the UK exits the European Union, a trade deal between New Zealand and the UK should be ready to go immediately,” says Mr Tabuteau.


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