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UK-GCC partnership 'post-Brexit priority,' says MP

Britain's first post-Brexit international trade secretary Liam Fox attends a press conference on 17 July 2020 in Geneva [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images]
Britain's first post-Brexit international trade secretary Liam Fox attends a press conference on 17 July 2020 in Geneva [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images]

A Conservative Party MP said on Thursday that Britain regards a commercial partnership with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as one of its top priorities post-Brexit. Dr Liam Fox made his comments in an interview with Asharq News.

The former Secretary of State for International Trade said that the British government will make strengthening relations with the Gulf, "especially Saudi Arabia", one of its priorities. "The GCC," he added, "is a big market for the UK, and we have a huge amount of investments coming into Britain from Gulf countries, so the relationship is very strong in terms of trade and investment."

According to Fox, Britain's exit from the European Union provides "more flexible" access to trade agreements with the GCC countries, "compared with a bloc that brings together 27 countries in the European Union, where each member can reject any trade agreement."

He added that the United Kingdom is one of the five largest economies in the world and has one of the largest military budgets. Now that it is outside the EU, he pointed out, Britain has the strength and flexibility to act in its own national interests.

"Britain and GCC countries can cooperate in forming partnerships to use the region as a gateway for exporting goods and services to the European continent and Central Asia, in addition to cooperating in the fields of health sciences, financial and legal services, and the services sector in general," added Fox. "The UK has a tremendous capacity to export legal and financial services and work with partners in the GCC to improve and design these products to suit the regional market."

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