Britain and New Zealand tonight struck a trade deal which Boris Johnson claimed would slash red tape for businesses and end tariffs.

The pact with the Kiwis was sealed in a video call between the Prime Minister and his counterpart Jacinda Ardern, after 16 months of talks.

The Department for International Trade said the “groundbreaking” agreement will cut the price of New Zealand sauvignon blanc wine by 20p - which is its current tariff - and make Manuka honey and kiwi fruits cheaper.

It will also create more chances for Britons to live and work in New Zealand - and “deeper cooperation on digital trade and climate change”, the ministry said.

Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern said the UK and New Zealand are "great friends and close partners" (

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Getty Images)

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UK-New Zealand trade was worth £2.3billion last year and is expected to grow under the deal.

However, it was unclear what the agreement means for imports of New Zealand lamb.

Welsh farmers fear cheap lamb from Down Under on British supermarket shelves could hammer the UK’s sheep farming industry.

Mr Johnson said: “This is a great trade deal for the United Kingdom, cementing our long friendship with New Zealand and furthering our ties with the Indo-Pacific.

New Zealand sauvignon blanc should become cheaper for British wine quaffers

“It will benefit businesses and consumers across the country, cutting costs for exporters and opening up access for our workers.”

Ms Ardern said: "The United Kingdom and New Zealand are great friends and close partners; the historical connections that bind us run deep.

“This world-leading free trade agreement lays the foundations for even stronger connections as both countries embark on a new phase in our relationship.

“It is good for our economies, our businesses and our people."

British business leaders hailed the agreement.

It is unclear what the deal means for Welsh sheep farmers and their lamb (

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British sheep farmers have previously warned against competition from New Zealand lamb (

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Joff Lee)

Federation of Small Businesses chairman Mike Cherry said: “New Zealand has long been a priority market for UK’s small exporters – more than a quarter of which already sell there – and we welcome efforts to build on existing trade ties that go back many decades.”

Food and Drink Federation international trade chief Dominic Goudie said: “Our manufacturers will benefit from an ambitious trade deal with New Zealand that removes a range of tariffs that currently constrain exports.

“Significant growth opportunities exist as UK production becomes more competitive in the New Zealand market.”

But Shadow International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry claimed the deal would mean job losses for Britain’s farming communities, produce no extra growth and “generate just £112million in additional exports for UK firms compared to pre-pandemic levels”.

Shadow International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry (

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She said: “As our economy recovers from the pandemic, we need trade deals that will boost jobs and growth, open up big new markets for UK exporters, and support our objectives to buy, make and sell more in Britain.

“This trade deal with New Zealand fails on every count.

“It is a deal whose only major winners are the mega-corporations who run New Zealand’s meat and dairy farms - all at the expense of British farmers who are already struggling to compete.

“But for British jobs, growth and exports, this deal is yet another massive failure.”

National Farmers’ Union President Minette Batters said the deal meant Britain “will be opening our doors to significant extra volumes of imported food - whether or not produced to our own high standards - while securing almost nothing in return for UK farmers”.

National Farmers’ Union President Minette Batters (

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The pact involves “significant upsides for farmers on the other side of the world who can now access our hugely valuable market but contains little discernible benefit for UK producers, either at home or overseas”, she warned.

Ms Batters feared it could “damage the viability of many British farms in the years ahead, to the detriment of the public, who want more British food on their shelves, and to the detriment of our rural communities and cherished farmed landscapes”.

She added: “The Government is now asking British farmers to go toe-to-toe with some of the most export-orientated farmers in the world, without the serious, long-term and properly funded investment in UK agriculture that can enable us to do so.”