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British Foreign Minister: Ties With New Zealand to Remain Strong After Brexit

  • VOA News

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, center, meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English and Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee, right, in Wellington, New Zealand, July 25, 2017.

New Zealand will be one of the first nations Britain will strike a trade deal with once it formally leaves the European Union -- a promise made Tuesday by visiting British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson held talks in Wellington with Prime Minister Bill English on the second day of his two-day visit to Britain's former colony.

Britain's chief diplomat insisted that New Zealand would not be negatively affected once Brexit is a done deal. "I'll say this until I'm blue in the face," Johnson affirmed, "Brexit is not, was not, will not be about Britain turning away from the world."

Johnson said New Zealand is "at or near the very front of the queue" of nations willing and ready to reach a bilateral trade pact with London.

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