Trade in uncertain times : opportunities and risks for small states : a case study of Brexit, New Zealand and agricultural trade.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Policy and Governance
On the 23rd of June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) held a referendum in which it voted to leave the European Union (EU) – an event now known as Brexit. The UK’s impending departure could have severe economic and political implications for New Zealand with respect to agricultural trade.
New Zealand and the UK have a strong relationship established during colonial times. This consequently formed the basis of New Zealand’s ensuing agriculture relationship with the EU that has been limited due to competing interests. However, with the UK initiating the process of Brexit there is a chance to re-assess the economic trade relationship with both the UK and the EU via Free Trade Agreements (FTA). New Zealand needs to adapt to the changing international political economy, while simultaneously evolving its relationships with both the UK and EU, as they undergo changes to their respective regional and domestic politics. Subsequently, New Zealand will have to navigate considerable uncertainty to avoid the negative implications created so that New Zealand can embrace the opportunities that have presented themselves via the process of ‘Brexit’.
This thesis explores the short and long term diplomatic and trade risks and opportunities for New Zealand’s agriculture sector. Through a review of literature and interviews with fifteen key informants in the field of trade policy, this thesis examines how New Zealand should position itself to maximise leverage and influence the subsequent international trade negotiations that have resulted from Brexit disrupting the international political economy. Key findings emphasise significant questions about uncertainty concerning New Zealand’s future relationships with the UK and the EU and the potential impacts for a small state.