Turkey set to sign free trade deal with Britain

The trade relationship between London and Ankara was worth $25.25 billion in 2019 and the UK is Turkey’s second-largest trading partner after Germany.
Tuesday 29/12/2020
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London, UK, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (AP)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London, UK, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (AP)

ANKARA – Turkey’s lira rose for a fifth straight day before a free trade deal with Britain is signed later in the day.

The lira jumped 0.5% after reports that Britain and Turkey were set to sign a deal that replicates the existing trading terms.

An exchange of diplomatic notes will then allow the deal to come into force even though there is not enough time for it to be ratified by the two countries’ parliaments before the UK leaves the EU single market on December 31.

“The deal we expect to sign this week locks in tariff-free trading arrangements and will help support our trading relationship, worth £18.6 billion [$25.25 billion] last year. It will provide certainty for thousands of jobs across the UK in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries,” British trade minister Liz Truss said.

The deal has a review clause that requires the two nations to reconvene within the next two years to discuss expanding their agreement further to include services, including digital services, and more liberal regulations on trade and agriculture.

It is the first deal to be announced since British Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a new trade agreement with the European Union last week.

The trade relationship between London and Ankara was worth $25.25 billion in 2019 and the UK is Turkey’s second-largest trading partner after Germany.

The UK had earlier said that its agreement with Turkey was the fifth-biggest deal its trade ministry had negotiated after agreements with Japan, Canada, Switzerland and Norway.

The UK has now signed trade agreements with 62 countries ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1, when it leaves the EU’s trading arrangements.

It clinched its narrow trade deal with the EU, its biggest trading partner, after extensive negotiations.