Caabu welcomes UK government confirmation that post-Brexit UK trade agreement with Israel does not include illegal settlements

Posted by Caabu on 12 Feb 2019

Caabu Press Release: Caabu welcomes UK government confirmation that post-Brexit UK trade agreement with Israel does not include illegal settlements

12 February 2019

Caabu welcomes the British government’s confirmation that the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel applies only to sovereign Israeli territory and not to the occupied Palestinian territory.  This means that the UK will continue to adopt the long held EU policy position of not treating goods and services from illegal Israeli settlements as Israeli which would be given preferential trade access, as part of a position of non-recognition of Israeli settlement policy.

The government position was outlined in a written answer from the Minister for International Trade, George Hollingbery MP to Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, a Caabu board member. “The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship. However, we do not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, nor by the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel.

We are also working to finalise the transition of the current EU Interim Association Agreement with the Palestinian Authority.”

The Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP responded:   

It is welcome that the government has confirmed that the occupied Palestinian territories including the illegal Israel settlements do not form part of the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel. It is vital that Britain continues to stand up for international law whether inside or outside the EU.  Continuing a policy of distinction between Israel and the territories it has occupied for over 50 years as mandated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 is essential.  We also look forward to a similar deal with the Palestinian Authority and measures to further encourage trade with Palestinian business.”

The continuity agreement with Israel is one of around 40 EU trade agreements with third countries the UK is attempting to roll over in the event of Brexit.

Ends…

Notes to editors:

  1. For more information or interviews contact Chris Doyle, on + 44207 832 1321 or +447968 040281.
  2. The full answer can be read here - https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-02-05/216949/