The Minister’s comments came in response to an oral question from CFI Officer Bob Blackman MP in International Trade questions. The MP for Harrow East said that he was “delighted” to hear the Prime Minister announce on Monday at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch that she wanted to “take the trade relationship with Israel to the next level”.
Mr Blackman emphasised that Israel is “our key ally in the Middle East and strong trading partner”, and asked the Minister what “steps he is taking to ensure that we put in place a new trade deal with Israel, so that we can cement that commitment by the Prime Minister?”
Minister Garnier underlined that at present, “we are governed by the association agreement that the EU has with Israel”, and that the UK Government is “certainly keen to engage with Israel to make sure that in a post-Brexit world there is no disruption to the trade that we have”.
In a separate question, MP for Kettering, Philip Hollobone, asked the Minister if he will ensure that the Palestinian Authority is included “as far as possible” in prioritising a post-Brexit free trade deal with Israel, “because enhanced trade between the UK, Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be an essential part of building a sustainable and lasting peace”.
The Minister agreed that engagement with all parties was essential in bringing about a peace deal, and referred to his recent trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.