Although I have friends living in both Australia and New Zealand I confess if faced with the opportunity to travel to either nation, I would choose New Zealand. Its culture is deemed by many commentators to be some 20 years behind our own in terms of materialism and the scenery is amazing based on the photos I have seen. However as things stand I have no immediate prospects of visiting but the photos are still available and being old I can remember what happened 20 years ago without too much effort. The news that the New Zealand Prime Minister, the appropriately named Bill English (imagine if his parents had called him Johnny) has been visiting the UK and called in to see Theresa May is clearly good for both nations (assuming that they got on and were talking about things that are good for us all). However dressing the visit up as though the ‘bold’ deal is going to spearhead our post Brexit trade imbalance is clearly an exageration of epic proportions. New Zealand has a GDP equivalent to Greece and also equivalent to the South East of England (the region as defined by the Goverment which excludes London). A trade deal with Greece or the SE of England would not be a bad thing for most nations, but it won’t change the future prospects of the UK. Particularly as the reason why a visit to New Zealand for me would not be straightforward as it is the other side of the world with all of the environmental challenges that creates. As someone pointed out on a social media site yesterday, according to the HMRC statistics:
Non-EU Exports for November 2016 were £15.2 billion. This was an increase of £1.0 billion (6.8 per cent) on October 2016, and an increase of £1.7 billion (12 per cent) compared with November 2015. EU Exports for November 2016 were £14.1 billion. This was an increase of £1.6 billion (12 per cent) compared with October 2016, and an increase of £2.8 billion (25 per cent) compared with November 2015.
Greece is a small part of the EU as a whole and so expecting New Zealand to plug any gap created by our detachment from the EU is not really credible.