A trade and political continuity agreement was signed, Friday in London, between Tunisia and the United Kingdom ahead of Brexit, GOV.UK reports.
Signed by UK ambassador in Tunis Louise De Sousa and Tunisia’s ambassador in London Nabil Ben Khedher, this agreement will come into effect as soon as the association agreement between the EU and Tunisia would stop being implemented in the UK.
The Agreement will ensure British businesses and consumers benefit from continued trade with Tunisia after the UK leaves the European Union. It provides among other trade benefits, tariff-free trade of industrial products together with the liberalisation of trade in agricultural, agrifood and fisheries products, the same source said.
Under this agreement, UK consumers will continue to benefit from lower prices on goods imported from Tunisia such as textile and clothing. Consumers in Tunisia will continue to benefit from lower tariffs on products such as machinery and mechanical appliances produced in the UK.
The agreement will further help strengthen the trading relationship between the UK and Tunisia, which was worth £378 million in 2018, an increase of 3.0% in 2017, the source added.
In addition to growing trade, the agreement seeks to deepen UK-Tunisian cooperation across foreign policy, economic, social and cultural ties.
The Agreement provides a framework for policy dialogue and to strengthen cooperation on important issues like education, trade, environmental and human rights matters and “reaffirms Britain’s commitment to a close relationship with Tunisia and North Africa”.
This agreement will be subject to domestic parliamentary procedures in both the UK and Tunisia before it is brought into force.
“The signing of this agreement demonstrates the UK’s commitment to Tunisia, working together to support our shared long term ambitions for a deeper economic partnership,” said UK Minister for the Middle East Andrew Murrison.
“Tunisia represents opportunities to the UK companies and this agreement gives exporters and consumers the certainty they need to continue trading freely and in confidence as the UK prepares to leave the EU,” he underscored.
Minister of State for Trade Conor Burns said “The UK government is committed to ensuring that businesses are fully prepared for Brexit. Today’s signing ensures that UK and Tunisian businesses, exporters and consumers can continue to trade freely after the UK leaves the EU on October 31st ”. “I am confident that this agreement will usher in a new phase of greater cooperation between our two countries and help pave the way for increased bilateral trade and investment in the future,” Burns added.
The UK secured trade with countries accounting for £100 billion.