UK to sign free trade deal with Turkey this week

Britain and Turkey are set to sign a free trade deal as soon as Tuesday, the U.K. trade ministry said Sunday, the first since Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a new trade agreement with the European Union.

The two nations will sign a deal that replicates the existing trading terms between Ankara and London, but British trade minister Liz Truss said she was hopeful a bespoke deal between the countries could be struck soon.

"The deal we expect to sign this week locks in tariff-free trading arrangements and will help support our trading relationship. It will provide certainty for thousands of jobs across the U.K. in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries," Truss said in a statement.

"We now look forward to working with Turkey toward an ambitious tailor-made U.K.-Turkey trade agreement in the near future."

The trading relationship was worth 18.6 billion pounds ($25.25 billion) in 2019, and Britain said it was the fifth-biggest trade deal the trade ministry had negotiated after agreements with Japan, Canada, Switzerland and Norway.

Britain has now signed trade agreements with 62 countries ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on Jan. 1, when it leaves the EU's trading arrangements.

In a major breakthrough, it clinched a narrow trade deal with the EU, its biggest trading partner, last week after 10 months of intense negotiations.

The deal will kick off this week when the acrimonious Brexit divorce process finally comes to an end.

Britain formally left the EU in January after a divisive referendum in 2016, the first country to split from the political and economic project that was born as the continent rebuilt in the aftermath of World War II.

(c) Daily Sabah


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