British Ambassador to Israel, H.E. David Quarrey, called Brexit an “opportunity” to enhance the UK-Israel trading relationship and said the partnership would become “more important than it is today”, following the inaugural meeting of the new UK-Israel Trade Working Group that took place on Wednesday.
Speaking to i24NEWS a day after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, Ambassador Quarrey highlighted the significance of the future relationship between Israel and the UK as Britain looks to advance its trade, stating: “what we are very clear about is that in the future the relationship between the UK and Israel is, if anything, going to become more important than it is today”. The UK-Israel trade relationship currently stands at £4.9 billion.
In light of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May in London in February 2017, the Ambassador was positive that both leaders “signalled their determination to build an even stronger relationship in the future in the context of Brexit”.
The principal aims of the UK-Israel Trade Working Group are to strengthen investment between the bilateral powers, and have the “most ambitious possible trade agreement” in order to ensure a stable relationship following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Commenting on the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the UK, Ambassador Quarrey remained optimistic: “I know there is a lot of concern about boycotts and BDS in Israel…but what I see in terms of the UK and Israel is our strongest ever trade relationship”.
He continued: “Investment between the two countries is increasingly all the time, fantastic signs of cooperation, amazing things happening between tech companies here [Israel] and in the UK”.
Speaking about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Ambassador maintained that a two-state solution is the “best means to achieve peace and security for the region”.
Ambassador Quarrey added: “We regard ourselves as strong friends and supporters of both Israel and the Palestinians. And we will continue reactively working with both sides building on the deep friendships and partnerships we have to support progress towards two-states”.