'We've got to be realistic' – no loosening of UK visa restrictions for Kiwis anytime soon, warns Lockwood Smith

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New Zealand's outgoing High Commissioner to London warns there will be no change anytime soon by Britain to visa restrictions for Kiwis wanting to live and work in the UK.

NZ's High Commissioner to London says our wishes aren’t at the top of Britain’s priority list at the moment.
Source: Q+A

Sir Lockwood Smith told TVNZ's Q+A today that because the British Government is absorbed with working through its exit from the European Union after last year's Brexit referendum, the visa issue is not a priority for Westminster.

"We've got a wonderful access for our young people through the Youth Mobility programme, which sees 2000 or 3000 up here," Sir Lockwood told Q+A.

"But it's that skilled New Zealand situation. I think we've got to be realistic that while we've worked hard on it, the UK has not said, 'Look, we don't care.'"

Sir Lockwood went on to say he thinks New Zealand will have a chance to be heard once the Brexit issue is worked through.

"Once they do get control ... I think we should have the chance to revisit this issue," he said.

Sir Lockwood's time as High Commissioner will end soon and Sir Jerry Mateparae will take up the post.

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