Brexit “is not, was not and will not be about Britain turning away from the world,” British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said in New Zealand on Tuesday.

Johnson said this at a news conference in Wellington during his first visit to New Zealand.

“On the contrary, it is about us wanting to keep great relations with all our European friends and partners and do a great free trade deal with them,” Johnson.

Johnson, who is visiting the south-west Pacific nation for three days, met with Prime Minister, Bill English, and Foreign Minister, Gerry Brownlee and discussed topics including North Korea and the “nuclear adventurism of that regime” as well as the fight against terrorism.

On Tuesday in Wellington Johnson said the people who voted for Brexit weren’t hostile to immigrants, they just wanted to feel that the British government had a handle on migration.

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“I have been the mayor of London where 40 per cent of the population were born abroad,” Johnson said.

“Being open to talent is a great thing, but in any society you have to manage it and you have to control it. That is what Brexit was about,’’ he said.

He also said Brexit was also about rediscovering and intensifying friendships and partnerships around the world.

Johnson said Britain and New Zealand would continue to work on a range of issues of mutual interest, including opportunities that existed for citizens to live and work in each other’s countries, Johnson said.


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