Sophie Ryan is online editor for the Business Herald

Life calmly goes on after Brexit

The British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Jonathan Sinclair. Photo / NZME
The British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Jonathan Sinclair. Photo / NZME

The British High Commissioner's message to New Zealand and British businesses trading in the post-Brexit environment is "keep calm and carry on".

Jonathan Sinclair addressed the British New Zealand Business Association yesterday and said the immediate emotional response to the referendum to leave the European Union had dropped away in Britain. Sinclair said he wanted to be clear that Britain would remain a member of the EU until an exit plan had been negotiated.

When the vote for Brexit was announced in June, Sinclair said the response from New Zealand companies involved in trade in the UK was mostly relaxed.

"It's been very straightforward and typically Kiwi."

He said the calm response mirrored the tact that new British Prime Minister Theresa May has taken since stepping into the job in the days following the vote. Her mantra has been "Brexit means Brexit".

Sinclair is pushing that message to all New Zealanders.

The things that British companies like about doing business with New Zealand, the similarities in approach and common law, hadn't changed because of the Brexit vote, he said.

Sinclair said recent headlines about the effect the Brexit vote had on immigration applications from Britain to New Zealand was in line with historic migration data, but he wouldn't comment further, saying it was a topic for policymakers.

"In a general sense we strongly encourage two-way links in every day for our two countries."

British newspaper The Telegraph labelled the New Zealand Herald's coverage of the increase in Brits interested in moving to New Zealand after the Brexit referendum as "cheeky".

This week the Herald ran a front-page story about the boost in Immigration New Zealand registrations from Great Britain that was picked up British media.

More than 10,500 registrations from people considering moving here from Britain have been lodged with Immigration since the vote.

The day of the vote Immigration got 998 British registrations, compared with 109 the day before. In the 49 days after the vote, there were 10,647 registrations from the UK compared with 4599 in the same period last year.

The Telegraph reported on the story saying: "New Zealand has raised fears of a 'British invasion' after receiving a post-Brexit rush of interest from would-be migrants, including a tenfold increase on the day of the vote.

- NZ Herald

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