Boris Johnson appoints ex-rival as UK trade envoy to New Zealand
UK Trade Envoy to New Zealand MP David Mundell. Photo / Supplied
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed New Zealand trade envoy, Conservative MP and former Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell, as UK-New Zealand free trade deal talks continue.
Mundell is one of 10 new business envoys selected from both Houses of Parliament, including cricket legend Lord Ian Botham, who will be sent to Australia. The new nominations mean there will be 36 envoys covering 76 different countries.
These are unpaid, voluntary roles and are designed to boost UK business in select markets since Britain left the European Union and began negotiating its own trade deals.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the envoys were working alongside Joint Office No.10 – Department of International Trade for Investment to encourage large foreign investment across the UK.
Johnson has said he is making the appointment as the UK nears a tentative deal with New Zealand. He and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in June an agreement in principle that included: an elimination of tariffs on beef and sheep meat within 10 years, on sugar over eight years and on dairy products over five years. It also included more generous working arrangements for young people.
Six rounds of New Zealand FTA negotiations have taken place so far and the UK estimates the final deal will increase the current $ 4.6 million in annual bilateral trade by about $ 200 million per year. year.
Mundell was appointed Secretary for Scotland in 2015 by David Cameron and served under the leadership of Theresa May. He was sacked in July 2019 when Johnson, whom Mundell had opposed, replaced May as prime minister.
Mundell also campaigned for the UK to stay in the European Union in the 2016 referendum.
In 2018 he traveled to Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin to promote Scottish exports.
Welcoming his appointment as an envoy, he said there were huge opportunities to increase trade.
“I will seek to capitalize on the strong historical ties between New Zealand and the UK, but also to seize new opportunities.
“As Secretary of State for Scotland, I have promoted Scottish and British products and services, from whiskey to technology, and have found a welcoming and receptive audience.
“I am sure we can turn this positive attitude into real business and subsequently into jobs for both countries.”
The last appointments are:
David Mundell MP – New Zealand
Lord Botham – Australia
Baroness Hoey – Ghana
Stephen Timms, MP – Switzerland and Lichtenstein
Mark Eastwood, MP – Pakistan
Marco Longhi, MP – Brazil
Conor Burns, MP – Canada
Lord Walney, – Tanzania
Felicity Buchan, MP – Iceland and Norway
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP (already sent to Egypt) – Cameroon