UK-Turkey begin talks over post-Brexit trade deal

Post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and Turkey have begun. The talks will take place simultaneously to UK and EU trade talks in the hope of having a deal ready once Brexit is completed.

UK and Turkish flag
Initial steps have been taken to arrive at a post-Brexit free trade deal between the UK and Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has revealed.

UK and Turkey have begin trade talks

After discussions with UK Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street, Mr Yildirim said that a joint working group had already met early in November to begin work on a possible framework for a trade deal once Britain had left the European Union.Mr Yildirim accepted that a deal could not be finalised until the UK had actually left the bloc but he said that the talks would proceed “in parallel” with the Brexit negotiations.“These will take place simultaneously. It is not like we will first wait for the UK to finish Brexit and then see what happens,” he said. “That is not the kind of approach we have in mind. That would be wrong. Work has already started on it and it has to start.“This way we will make sure that, in a gradual manner, we will be paving the way into a free trade agreement and we need to finish the necessary preparations before that time.“Both parties are aware of the significance of this joint working group and we have been taking the necessary steps with this aim in mind.”
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Trade agreements outside of the single market

While Turkey is a member of the EU customs union – but not the single market – Mr Yildirim said he did not believe this would be a hindrance to Turkey and the UK arriving at a trade deal of their own.“Once the UK moves out of the EU, the UK will belong to the same club as Turkey,” he said. “The world is not only made up of the EU. Turkey has free trade agreements with a number of other countries. Forging these agreements does not mean a contradiction with our relations with the EU.”

UK investments in Turkey

In the meeting with Mrs May, Mr Yildirim reportedly focused on British companies’ investments in Turkey, which have reached $10 billion over the last 15 years. He emphasised that any investment in Turkey was a gateway to the “great opportunities” offered in its neighbouring region.“These investments enable British firms to access the Turkish market and expand into the other markets surrounding Turkey. Regardless of the origin of the companies operating in Turkey, we treat them as one of our own. They do not have any different status than Turkish companies,” he said.“Within a four-hour flight distance from Turkey, it is possible to reach approximately 60 countries with a total GDP of $30 trillion. Any investment in Turkey is not limited to the geographical boundaries of Turkey as the country is surrounded by many other countries that are growing ambitiously.”For related news and features, visit our Brexit section. Look out for the launch of 2018's Relocate Awards, entries open in January.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory

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