Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with British Trade Secretary Liam Fox, November 28, 2018.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
The UK agreed in principle to a post-Brexit free trade agreement with Israel, the two sides revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Britain’s Secretary for International Trade Liam Fox announced the decision on Wednesday together with Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen.
“I’m delighted that as Britain prepares to leave the European Union and to ensure continuity for our businesses in both directions, we’ve reached agreement in principle today with our colleagues in Israel,” Fox said.
“Israel has been one of the most cooperative and productive partners in this relationship where our trade is already strong and set to go further,” he added. “For us, the continuity as we leave the European Union will be a precursor to an even more ambitious agreement in the future.”
Cohen commented that Israel’s trade with Britain was valued at more than £10 billion in 2018, and expressed his hopes that the trade agreement “will accelerate, increase and strengthen our economic relationship.”
Israel has been in talks with the UK for more than a year to ensure that there is continuity in trade once Brexit comes about, according to Yariv Becher, the Economy Ministry’s commercial attaché in London.
Israeli trade with the UK is governed by its free trade agreement with the EU but Britain is looking more and more likely of making a no-deal exit from the European Union.
Britain’s exit from the EU places the government under pressure to form its own trade agreements, but they cannot sign agreements until they officially leave the European Union.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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