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UK-Gulf Co-operation Council Free Trade Agreement

Volume 745: debated on Monday 19 February 2024

The sixth round of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) took place between 29 January and 9 February.

The round was hosted in London and held in a hybrid fashion. A number of GCC negotiators travelled to London for in-person discussions, with others attending virtually.

Draft treaty text was advanced across the majority of chapters. Technical discussions were held across 21 policy areas over 30 sessions. Good progress was made and both sides remain committed to securing an ambitious, comprehensive and modern agreement fit for the 21st century. The next round of negotiations will be scheduled shortly.

An FTA will be a substantial economic opportunity and a significant moment in the UK-GCC relationship. Total trade was worth £59 billion according to latest figures.

His Majesty’s Government remain clear that any deal signed will be in the best interests of the British people and the United Kingdom economy. We will not compromise on our high environmental, public health, animal welfare and food standards, and we will maintain our right to regulate in the public interest. We are also clear that during these negotiations, the national health service and the services it provides are not on the table.