UK replaces one Remain PM with another as they head for Brexit


By Thursday, Theresa May will be Britain’s new Prime Minister.

So now the UK’s finally getting itself sorted, what does it all mean to us here in New Zealand?

Prime Minister John Key has arrived in London and has met with David Cameron. A free trade deal with Britain is certainly on the cards, but that’s something he will now need to speak with Ms May about.

“There’s no doubt they want to have a solid relationship with New Zealand and a free trade agreement but in a technical sense, while they’re a member of the EU – which happens until essentially they complete the divorce proceedings – they can’t technically negotiate a FDA with New Zealand,” said Mr Key.

That process might start sooner than expected if the EU sticks to its insistence that the new British Prime Minister would have just days to officially set the Brexit in motion.

Mr Cameron’s replacement wasn’t supposed to be confirmed until September, but that all changed yesterday when Ms May’s rival Andrea Leadsom quit the two-way Conservative leadership contest, saying she didn’t have enough support.

“A nine-week campaign at such a critical moment for our country is highly undesirable,” she said. “Business needs certainty, a strong and unified government.”

Reports say she may also have lost support with a controversial newspaper column trumpeting her superiority for the top job because of her qualities as a mother. Many saw this as insensitive given Ms May’s well-known struggle to have children.

Meanwhile, Mr Cameron is more than ready to close the door on his six-year stint as Prime Minister. He’s given Ms May the nod to be the one to lead Britain through its post-EU life.

“I’m delighted that Theresa May will be the next Prime Minister. She is strong, she is competent, she is more than able to provide the leadership our country’s going to need in the years ahead, and she will have my full support.”

You have to admire John Key for being in there like a robber’s dog.

In the right hands, Brexit is a windfall for New Zealand.

Can you at all imagine Andrew Little working too hard to keep New Zealand’s interest at the sharp end of the world? No. Neither can I.


– Newshub