Britain says it will sign free trade deal with Turkey this week

LONDON – Britain and Turkey are set to sign a free trade deal on Tuesday, the British trade ministry said on Sunday (Dec 27), the first since Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a new trade agreement with the European Union.

The two will sign a deal that replicates the existing trading terms between Ankara and London, but British trade minister Liz Truss said that 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 UK in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries,” Truss said in a statement.

“We now look forward to working with Turkey towards an ambitious tailor-made UK-Turkey trade agreement in the near future.”

The trading relationship was worth £18.6 billion (S$33 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.

It clinched its narrow trade deal with the EU, its biggest trading partner, last week.

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