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Trade with Israel

Volume 712: debated on Thursday 21 April 2022

I am thrilled that our two Prime Ministers have agreed to negotiate an ambitious free trade agreement, with exciting new provisions in digital, data, technology, services and innovation. We have completed our consultation and are analysing the responses now, with a view to launching formal negotiations, along with others, later this year.

I refer Members to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

I welcome the Government’s commitment to negotiating a trade deal with our great friend and ally Israel, which will be of huge benefit to lots of businesses in High Peak and across the country. May I urge the Minister to go further and ensure that any deal does not just include products but looks at services, which make up around 70% of both the UK and Israel’s economies? It is an area in which we are both world leaders, and there would be much mutual benefit.

Absolutely. My hon. Friend correctly points out that our two economies have strong service sectors but our current deal predominantly caters for trade in goods. That is why we intend to negotiate a more ambitious, comprehensive and innovation-friendly trade deal, which will open up opportunities for British businesses in areas such as tech, data and digital. My hon. Friend will be aware that next month we are hosting the first ever joint innovation and investment summit between our two countries. That will be a key moment as we deepen our relationship, creating opportunities to increase trade and investment between our nations, create new jobs and boost wages.