Having been left alone in the midst of a 26-member pact of eurozone economy, the United Kingdom on Friday had taken a first major step to negotiate a free trade deal with six GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, building up new ties around the globe as the island Kingdom’s exit from EU had altered the nation’s business culture and ethos.
On top of that, as a part of a broad-based negotiation with six GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, Britain also had asked her businesses what they would have wanted in a new trade accord with six major Gulf economies.
Aside from that, British Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who had been at crosshairs lately over a steep lack of workers in the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that could leave the country utterly unclothed to feel the pinch of a post-Brexit transition over an all-important holiday season ahead, had rolled out a 14-week consultation on Friday aimed at gathering businesses’ and individuals’ view on what a free trade deal with the aforementioned GCC countries would look like, as Britain looked to engineer new trade partnerships in context of a corrosive business landscape in a post-Brexit UK.
Britain extends hands to Gulf countries in pursuit of a new trade accord
Meanwhile, adding that a trade deal with major Gulf countries would deliver well-paid jobs across all parts of UK, British Trade Minister Trevelyan said in a statement, “We want a modern, comprehensive agreement that breaks down trade barriers to a huge food and drink market and in areas like digital trade and renewable energy which will deliver well-paid jobs in all parts of the UK”.
As a matter of fact, latest move from Britain to resume trade talks with major Gulf economies came forth nearly twelve years after an 18-year long negotiation over a trade deal between EU, of which the UK had been a member state by then, and GCC had stalled in the 2008s.
Besides, Britain, which already have close diplomatic ties and military relationship with Gulf countries, had yet to disclose a timetable for negotiations, while GCC also had shown a sheer reluctance to lay off a free trade deal since 2015s.
Trades between Britain and Gulf states had been totalled more than a £30 billion last year, though critics often snapped Britain’s arms exports to Saudi, which was reportedly breaching fundamental human rights in Yemen.