Brexit news: Farmers given lifeline with new £35bn Gulf trade deal at SLASH tariffs | Science | New

The UK has launched negotiations for a free trade agreement between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates United Arabs. Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan met leaders of Gulf nations in Riyadh to discuss free trade worth £33.1bn. A deal with the GCC could be a major opportunity for the UK, as the bloc is already the UK’s seventh largest export market.

According to a government statement, the GCC bloc’s demand for international goods and services is set to grow rapidly to reach £800 billion by 2035, an increase of 35%, which could open up huge new opportunities for British companies.

UK farmers and growers will benefit from this deal, as the region is highly dependent on imported food supplies.

Last year, UK food and drink exports to GCC countries stood at £625 million last year.

A free trade deal with the GCC could significantly reduce or even eliminate tariffs on UK food and drink exports.

The products that could benefit the most are cereals, which are currently subject to a tariff of up to 25%; chocolate, up to 15%; bakery products, up to 12%; sweet cookies, up to 10%; and smoked salmon, which is currently subject to a 5 per cent tariff.

Ms Trevelyan said: “Today marks the next important milestone in our 5-star business year as we strengthen the UK’s close relationship with the Gulf.

“Our current trading relationship was worth £33.1 billion in the last year alone.

“From our fantastic British food and drink to our exceptional financial services, I am delighted to open up new markets for UK businesses large and small and to support the over ten thousand SMEs already exporting to the region.

READ MORE: Brexit betrayal: UK farmers risk being ‘saved’ by ‘cheap’ produce



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