UK and Israel sign trade continuity agreement
A trade continuity agreement will see British businesses and consumers benefitting from continued trade with Israel after we leave the European Union.
International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, signed the UK-Israel agreement in Jerusalem today (Monday 18 February) with Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen.
The news has been welcomed by business groups including the Israel Britain Chamber of Commerce, who say it will help to support jobs and ensure continuity for both British consumers and businesses who will be able to continue trading without disruption.
The agreement simplifies trade and allows businesses to trade as freely as they do now, without any additional barriers or tariffs.
Trading on these preferential terms rather than on World Trade Organization terms will deliver significant savings and help to safeguard British jobs.
This will help to further strengthen the trading relationship between the UK and Israel, which was worth £4 billion in the year ending 2018 Q3.
The British vehicles sector could avoid up to £9 million a year in tariff charges on their exports that would apply if the agreement wasn’t in place, while machinery and mechanical appliance exporters could avoid up to £5 million a year.
The agreement also protects existing preferential market access for important products. Consumers in the UK will continue to benefit from more choice and lower prices on goods imported from Israel, such as pharmaceutical products, with Israeli companies acting as major suppliers to the NHS. The deal will ensure crucial protection for intellectual property rights and maintain high trading standards across industry.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:
Britain’s relationship with Israel is stronger than it has ever been with record levels of bilateral cooperation in trade and investment between our two nations. Today’s agreement will further help ensure UK and Israeli businesses, exporters and consumers have the certainty they need to continue trading freely and in confidence as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
We look forward to further strengthening an ambitious trade and investment relationship with Israel as we work closer together in the future.