UK’s former Secretary of State for International Trade and current Conservative Party MP, Liam Fox has stated that the country will consider improving trade links with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region as one of its priorities after Brexit.
“The British government will make strengthening relations with the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, one of its priorities, as the Kingdom is a key partner of the UK on various issues,” he said.
Mr. Fox added that the GCC represents “a big market for the UK, and we have a huge amount of investments coming into the UK from Gulf countries, so the relationship is very strong in terms of trade and investment.”
Britain left the European Union (EU) politically a year ago and quit the bloc’s single market and customs union at the end of 2020. The UK has noted that the biggest advantage of leaving the EU is the freedom to pursue trade agreements across the globe.
According to Mr. Fox, Brexit has made access to trade deals with GCC countries “more flexible compared to a bloc that brings together 27 countries in the European Union, where each member can reject any trade agreement.”
“Britain and GCC countries can expand its partnership to use the region as a gateway for exporting goods and services to the European continent and Central Asia, in addition to cooperating in the fields of health sciences, financial and legal services, and the services sector in general. The UK has a tremendous capacity to export legal and financial services and work with partners in the GCC to improve and design these products to suit the regional market.”
Furthermore, the MP mentioned that the UK is one of the world’s five biggest economies and has one of the largest military budgets. The country, therefore, has “the strength and flexibility now to act in our national interests,” concluded Mr. Fox.