VIDEO: EU’s New Zealand trade talks in ‘DEEP TROUBLE’ – UK could...

VIDEO: EU’s New Zealand trade talks in ‘DEEP TROUBLE’ – UK could push ahead of Brussels for deal

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NEW ZEALAND is pushing a trade deal with the UK ahead of negotiations with the European Union after discussions with Brussels chiefs stalled.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rushed to hold important talks with the country’s new Prime Minister in a bid to leave the UK out in the cold.

But many Kiwi officials have expressed their desire to see New Zealand carve out a trade deal with the UK instead.

Mr Junker and Bill English, New Zealand’s prime minister were expected to discuss bilateral trade negotiations that could start in the upcoming months.

New Zealand is one of the few countries which does not either already have a free trade agreement or is negotiating one with the EU.

However, Kiwi lawmaker Fletcher Tableau, suggests that the talks with the EU will not be smooth sailing.

Mr Tableau, from New Zealand’s First Party, has warned European attitudes on agriculture are likely to cause “deep trouble”.

He said: “Ireland, Poland, Germany, and France have expressed concerns about allowing [New Zealand] dairy into their free trade deals.”

New Zealand prime minister Bill English Getty

New Zealand’s new prime minister Bill English is set to hold talks with the EU

This attitude, he warns, could cause chaos because any decisions made during talks could be rejected by national or regional parliaments in the EU.

He would prefer to see Mr English engage in talks with the UK instead of the EU.

He told Politico: “Given the all-powerful European farmer lobby likes New Zealand like a hole in the back of the head, our deal with the EU isn’t going to go very far, very fast.

“We need to face facts and put our energies into a more likely trade deal with the United Kingdom after its separation from the EU.”

British Prime Minister Theresa MayGetty

Prime Minister Theresa May could be left out in the cold during negotiations with New Zealand

Mr English is set to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel, during his trip, which began on Monday.

He will also meet London Mayor Sadiq Khan, European Council President Donald Tusk, Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

And it seems that Mr English, New Zealand’s 39th prime minister, is determined to be his own man and wants to focus on getting new trade deals.

Former New Zealand prime minister John KeyGetty

Former New Zealand prime minister John Key resigned in December 2016 leaving English to step in

Ahead of his meeting with Mr Juncker, New Zealand officials confirmed that he had deliberately chosen to visit Brussels, then the UK and Berlin for talks in order of importance.

Mr English, who originally led his party to their worst election defeat, took up his post after former prime minister John Key resigned in December.

Mr Key, who was prime minister for eight years, built strong relations with many of the leaders Mr English will now be meeting.

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