The Government has signed a deal which will allow British businesses to continue trading with Turkey on the same terms after Brexit.
The deal between Ankara and London will roll over the benefits UK and Turkish businesses had while trading with each other when the UK was still part of the European Union.
The tariff-free arrangements underpin a trading relationship which the government said was worth £18.6bn last year.
The government said both sides are ‘committed to working towards a more ambitious free trade agreement’.
Turkey has been a particularly key market for the British automotive industry. Ford delivers UK-made car parts to Turkey to build its Transit range, a third of which are then sent back to Britain.
The company makes up around 10 per cent of trade volume between the two countries.
Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley said: ‘Ford welcomes the announcement today of a trade agreement between the UK and Turkey, and the speed with which it has been concluded underscores its importance to the economic prosperity of both countries.
‘As Europe’s leading commercial vehicle brand, Ford’s Dagenham engine manufacturing facility in East London exports much of its diesel engine production to our Ford Otosan joint venture in Turkey where the engines are fitted into Ford Transit vehicles, many of which are then exported from Turkey to the UK.
‘Given that Ford and Ford Otosan business constitutes more than 10 per cent of the total trade volume between the UK and Turkey, this trade agreement is extremely significant for us and will help to secure jobs in both countries.’
The deal was signed during a video call on Tuesday between international trade secretary Liz Truss and Turkey’s trade minister Rushar Pekcan.
Truss said: ‘Today’s deal covers trade worth more than £18bn, delivers vital certainty for business and supports thousands of jobs across the UK in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries.
‘It paves the way for a new, more ambitious deal with Turkey in the near future, and is part of our plan to put the UK at the centre of a network of modern agreements with dynamic economies.
‘More trade and investment will drive economic growth across our United Kingdom and help us build back stronger from Covid.’
The government has been forced to roll over dozens of trade deals with countries around the world since deciding to leave the EU’s trading arrangements.
A vast majority of the 62 trade deals it has signed over the last two years have simply retained the same terms as before Brexit.
Andy Burwell, director for international trade and investment at the Confederation of British Industry, added: ‘Turkey’s customs union with the EU made a trade deal with the UK complicated, but the pace at which the deal has been finalised following the negotiated EU deal shows the strength and depth of the relationship.’
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