Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage: I apologise to everybody in New Zealand

The man who helped lead the Brexit movement has apologised to New Zealand.

In an exclusive interview with Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking on Monday, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he was sorry for the way Britain had treated New Zealand when it joined the Common Market.

"I apologise to everybody in New Zealand for what my parent's generation did - we turned our backs on you."

Nigel Farage said the UK let New Zealand down. Source: AAP.
Nigel Farage said the UK let New Zealand down. Source: AAP.

Mr Farage said New Zealand and Britain had enjoyed good preferential trading terms prior to the alignment with European trade blocs, "and we dealt you a very bad hand".

But the Brexit offered an opportunity to negotiate good trade deals, he said, and return to how the two nations previously operated.

The leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage celebrates the outcome. Photo: Reuters
The leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage celebrates the outcome. Photo: Reuters

"Well now we can talk to you guys about having a sensible, better trading relationship and Britain once again has the chance to be a global trading nation, not just a European one."

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'This is going to be far from plain sailing': David Cameron addresses parliament after Brexit

New Zealand Prime Minster John Key said on Monday that there's work to be done to negotiate access to the British market when it ceases to be part of the EU, and that could take time.

"There will be quite a lot of pressure on the UK system, because they have to establish their own access to the EU and at the same time try to work with countries like Australia and New Zealand," he said.

Mr Key said some of the work covering Australia and New Zealand will be similar but there won't be a joint free trade agreement because of differences in economies.

New Zealand is already negotiating an FTA with the EU, and Mr Key says the government hopes it might be ready for signing in early 2018.

While Mr Key had urged Britain to vote to remain in EU, following the vote he said he respected the decision to leave.

John Key had urged the UK to remain.
John Key had urged the UK to remain.

"We will continue to have a strong relationship with both the EU and the UK, and to further develop our ties with both. In this respect nothing has changed," Mr Key said in a statement.

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Brexit won't cause another GFC: Key

The Prime Minister also said he doesn't think Britain's exit from the European Union will trigger another global financial crisis, and he doesn't believe New Zealand's economy will suffer.

"The markets will settle down, I don't think it will cause a repeat of the global financial crisis," he told reporters on Monday.

"And I take heart from the fact that New Zealand is a lot stronger than it was in 2008, and I think world markets are more robust."

His comments come after leading Kiwi economist Dr Ganesh Nana warned that the country is vulnerable and is not well prepared for the bumpy road ahead.

“So buckle in for the coming months, they will be neither smooth, nor enjoyable. We’re in for a rough period," Berl's chief economist said in a statement.

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'We’re in for a rough period': Warning for New Zealand as kiwi drops on Brexit uncertainty

Britain voted to leave the European Union after a bitterly divisive referendum campaign, sending global markets plunging, casting British politics into disarray and shattering the stability of a project in continental unity designed half a century ago to prevent World War III.

David Cameron announces he will resign from the British prime ministership by October after voters decided to leave the EU. Source: PA Wire
David Cameron announces he will resign from the British prime ministership by October after voters decided to leave the EU. Source: PA Wire

The Brexit cost UK Prime Minister David Cameron his job, and it launched a years-long process to renegotiate trade, business and political links between the United Kingdom and what will become a 27-nation bloc, an unprecedented divorce that could take decades to complete.

READ MORE: Brexit: British PM David Cameron announces he will resign after country votes to leave EU


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