27 Jun 2016

Aus, NZ to cooperate after Brexit

6:02 pm on 27 June 2016

Australia and New Zealand have agreed to work together on the "big issues" Brexit presents to both countries, including trade and immigration, Malcolm Turnbull says.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (L) and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shake hands at the joint press conference in Sydney.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (L) and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shake hands at the joint press conference in Sydney. Photo: AFP

Mr Turnbull told reporters in Adelaide today he had been in contact with Prime Minister John Key, warning the implications of Friday's historic vote were "considerable".

"We have many, many common interests in terms of dealing with that, both from a trade point of view, from a movement of persons point of view," he said.

"There are some big issues in terms of the access of Australians and New Zealanders to Europe and indeed to the United Kingdom."

Mr Turnbull said he wanted to establish a "collaborative, cooperative framework" with New Zealand if he was returned as prime minister.

He warned there were "opportunities and challenges" arising from the United Kingdom's decision and he had ordered a "comprehensive report" on its likely consequences.

"We are keeping a very, very close eye on it," Mr Turnbull said.

Prime Minister John Key said New Zealand and Australia could work together in some areas following the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

He said obviously given the two countries historical relationship with the UK there were some areas where they had common ground.

But he said they were at different stages with their trade agreements so those deals would be negotiated by the two countries separately.

Mr Key said he had been assured by officials in Britain that New Zealanders' access to the UK would not change.

He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had established a taskforce to work on a strategy for engaging with both the UK and the European Union.

"While the decision has created uncertainty in the financial markets I've had assurances from EU and UK officials that New Zealand's trade access will not change until new conditions are negotiated, access for New Zealanders to the UK also remains unchanged."

Mr Key said New Zealand's export market and economy was focussed more on Asia.

The Australian prime minister said he had ordered the Reserve Bank, as well as the financial regulators ASIC and APRA, to provide a report early next week to whoever wins Saturday's federal election.

Mr Turnbull said while there was a "measure of stability" returning to financial markets, there remained "considerable political uncertainty".

- ABC / RNZ