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UK and Israel agree trade deal

The Secretary of State for Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said yesterday that Israel has “agreed in principle” to a post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom.

Dr Fox made the announcement after a meeting in Davos with Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen. The Trade Secretary said the deal would: “Ensure continuity for our businesses in both directions.” Dr Fox said Israel is: “One of the most productive partners of the UK,” adding that: “The continuity as we leave the European Union will be a precursor to an even more ambitious agreement in the future.”

Cohen said: “I am sure that this free trade agreement will help us to accelerate and increase even more and strengthen our economic relationship.” Cohen said UK-Israel bilateral trade reached a record $10 billion (£7 billion) in 2018.

The UK is the second-largest market for Israeli exports. British Prime Minister Theresa May noted the importance of UK-Israel trade in September when she described Israel as: “A great start-up nation, an engine of enterprise, a world leader in technology, and a great friend of Britain” and called for an: “Ambitious free trade deal between our countries.”

A UK Government White Paper on trade in 2011 identified Israel as a trade priority for post-Brexit Britain because of the potential synergies between Israel’s high levels of innovation and British strengths in design, business growth and finance, as well as the UK’s own high-technology and scientific strengths.

In December 2017 BICOM published an analysis of Britain-Israel trade after Brexit assessing potential areas for increased trade and investment.