Numerous Conservative MPs on Tuesday celebrated flourishing trade ties between the UK and Israel and called on the Government to explore opportunities to deepen the partnership as Britain leaves the EU, in a Westminster Hall debate on UK-Israel trade.
The debate follows a trade-focused delegation to Israel led by CFI with senior Conservative parliamentarians in May.
Chris Green MP led the debate, and among Conservative MPs to participate were CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman (Commons) Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP, former International Trade Minister Mark Garnier MP, CFI trade delegation leader Rt. Hon. Mark Harper MP, CFI Vice Chairman John Howell OBE MP, Mary Robinson MP, James Morris MP, Dr Dan Poulter MP, Alan Mak MP, Damien Moore MP and Iain Stewart MP.
Mr Green hailed the record levels of UK-Israel trade in his opening speech, with bilateral trade at £6.9 billion in 2017. He pointed out that in the first five months of 2018 alone the figure stands at £3.3 billion pounds – a 22% increase from the same point as last year.
Praising the “Start-Up Nation”, Mr Green said that Israel’s “prowess in the fields of high-tech, energy, medical science and FinTech is in large part due to the need to adapt as challenges arise”.
It was pointed out by Hendon MP Matthew Offord that Israel has the highest density of start-up companies in the world, and that there is one start-up company for every 1,600 people within the population.
Leader of CFI parliamentary trade delegation to Israel Rt. Hon. Mark Harper MP emphasised the “very valuable” partnership between the UK and Israel in cyber security, which “helps to keep both of our countries safer in a very dangerous world”. He detailed the group’s visit to the Israeli company Sodastream’s factory and the diverse workforce that it employed.
Former International Trade Minister Mark Garnier MP in his speech praised the “vibrant atmosphere within Israel that leaves it to be one of the greatest technology start-up countries in the world”, welcomed Israeli companies to invest in the UK and called for deeper trade ties.
In his response to the debate, International Trade Minister Graham Stuart MP highlighted extensive trade links between the UK & Israel, stating that “UK-Israeli trade is a vital component of the UK’s economic growth and we hope to strengthen it further in the coming years, including as we leave the European Union”.