'Britain wants Israeli hi-tech,' no longer fears Arab reaction - source

“In the 1970’s, the Foreign Office would issue a certificate to companies wishing to trade with Israel fearing Arab reactions,” said Prof. Rynhold of Bar Ilan University’s Political Studies Dept.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meets Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on his arrival in Israel, August 25, 2020 (photo credit: MIRI SHIMONOVICH/GPO)
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meets Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on his arrival in Israel, August 25, 2020
(photo credit: MIRI SHIMONOVICH/GPO)
When the UK opted out of the EU during Brexit in 2016, it also decided to renegotiate its trade relations with other nations, Israel included.
A source close to the Foreign Ministry informed The Jerusalem Post that one of the reasons for UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s current visit to the Jewish state is to get the ball rolling on exactly that.
“We don’t have data on how things are now during COVID-19,” Director of Britain Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM) Richard Pater told the Post, “but they were excellent before, with healthy synergy in both hi-tech, defense, and the medical industry.”
Pater pointed to the 2010 Thales Watchkeeper WK450 program as an example, the result of Elbit joining forces with Thales to produce a state-of-the-art drone. The deal was reported to be to the tune of £846m (over $1 billion). He expressed hopes that similar British-Israeli cooperation might produce a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
“In the 1970’s, the Foreign Office would issue a certificate to companies wishing to trade with Israel fearing Arab reactions,” Prof. Jonathan Rynhold of Bar Ilan University’s Political Studies Department told the Post.
Prince William’s royal visit to Israel in 2018 “settled that,” Rynhold said. The British “want to come here and do business.” This is even truer now with news about the Abraham Accords putting relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates out in the open for the first time. If the Gulf states are eager to buy Israeli technology and services, why shouldn’t the UK?
Rynhold points out that Israel must have trade with other nations in order to be prosperous, since trade with neighboring countries is not enough. The UK is one of the Jewish state’s largest trading partners after the US.
Even outside the EU, the UK has many advantages for Israeli companies who wish to sell to Europe. It is also one of the largest economies in the world.
“London is still a global financial center,” Rynhold told the Post, “and with the shekel going strong, now is an excellent time to purchase goods made in the UK.”
He added that British culture is familiar to Israelis, and trading with the UK has a lot of added value for Israeli companies. “The UK is a reliable business partner from the Israeli point of view,” he said, “especially if you compare it to China.”
“Britain wants Israeli hi-tech,” he said, “and we want to sell.”