The United Kingdom (UK) and Israel have agreed to start negotiating an ambitious new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to strengthen our economies and deepen our friendship.
Our existing trading relationship with Israel is worth £5 billion. A new deal will build on the current UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement, which replicates the scope of existing trade agreements between the EU and Israel. The trade agreement, which forms the basis of our current trading relationship, was originally signed in 1995, before smartphones, artificial intelligence and the internet transformed our economies. While it allows tariff-free trade on 99% of UK goods exports by value, it currently contains scant provision for the UK’s thriving services and digital sectors.
We intend to change this by putting trade in services at the heart of a modern new FTA. As two of the most innovative and dynamic economies in the world – both in the top 15 of the Global Innovation Index – we know that the opportunities of the future will come from sectors in which we both excel, such as technology, research and development, digital and data.
Israel’s economy is growing rapidly, with its service sector growing by 45% over the last 10 years. A new FTA will allow us to take advantage of this growth, generating ever more opportunities for UK firms to export their goods and services.
Upgrading our trade deal with Israel will help unlock a stronger, more advanced partnership. The new deal will play to our strengths, reflecting the realities of trading in the 21st century and allowing us to take advantage of future innovations.
An FTA with Israel must work for UK consumers, producers, and businesses. We remain
committed to upholding our high environmental, labour, food safety, product safety, and animal welfare standards in our trade agreement with Israel. We will not accept any provisions that would increase the cost of medicines for the National Health Service (NHS). Protecting the NHS is a fundamental principle of our trade policy, and our commitment to this will not change during our negotiations with Israel.
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