Britain and Israel on Monday signed a trade continuity agreement which will see British businesses and consumers benefitting from continued trade with Israel after the UK leaves the European Union.
International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, Liam Fox, signed the UK-Israel agreement in Jerusalem with Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen.
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 2018.
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.
“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,” said Fox.
“We look forward to further strengthening an ambitious trade and investment relationship with Israel as we work closer together in the future,” he added.
Minister Cohen said, "Britain is one of Israel's largest and most important trading partners. The fact that Israel is one of the first countries to come to an agreement with Britain on the continuation of trade following Brexit demonstrates the mutual importance that the countries attach to the economic ties between them.”
"The agreement signed today will ensure that the trade between the two sides will continue to exist under the same conditions as it currently does, and that the growth in trade and mutual investments, as recorded in recent years, will continue even after the UK leaves the European Union," added Cohen.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday evening spoke by telephone with Secretary Fox following the signing of the trade and partnership agreement.
Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulated Secretary Fox on the signing of the trade agreement and said that Israel views it with great importance. The Prime Minister added that Great Britain is an important friend of Israel and noted that the agreement reflects that. He said that it was good for both parties.
Netanyahu emphasized the importance of increasing pressure on Iran and cooperating with the sanctions imposed by the US with the goal of bringing about a change in Iran's aggression.