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'Release the text' – Bill English wants details of new CPTPP deal released as 'sign of respect' to National

Bill English has called on the government to release the text of the new CPTPP deal, saying it needs to respect the fact that National's support is needed to get the votes required to pass the deal in Parliament.

Speaking from the small town of Ratana near Whanganui today, the National leader was adamant his party would play a large role in the deal.

"If it's a win for New Zealand then we will be there to support it. I think they probably will need us because even if New Zealand First support it National has still got more votes than NZ First and Labour put together."

He went on to say it was important for Labour to release the text of the new agreement as soon as possible if they were to gain National's support.

"It would certainly help if they release the text, it would show respect for all those critics who want to see what's in the text.

"But also the government needs to show a bit of respect that it needs National's votes to get it past the poll."

Also speaking from Ratana earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "The signing in Chile at the beginning of March is likely to go ahead."

"We wouldn’t want to get ahead of ourselves with where the agreement sits now, but certainly this is another step towards the finalisation."

She said one of the stumbling blocks for of the deal included Canada's temporarily removing itself from the agreement due to "seeking support for their cultural exception".

The PM says after “bumps” including a US withdrawal and Canada’s temporarily walking away, the trade deal will go ahead. Source: 1 NEWS

"New Zealand has a cultural exception, that's something we've long fought for in our trade agreements."

The exception enables trade agreements to differentiate culture from commercial products.

New Zealand offered support for Canada's cultural exception "and to offer any assistance we could".

Ms Ardern says Canada are satisfied with how the agreement now stands.  

The National leader says the government will need his party's support to get the deal over the line. Source: 1 NEWS


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