Wednesday 23 January 2019 4:26 pm

Davos: Liam Fox agrees future trade deal with Israel as UK seeks to maintain existing EU agreements after Brexit

The UK has agreed its first post-Brexit free trade deal in principle, Liam Fox said at Davos today.

The international trade secretary said Britain and Israel have shaken hands on a future deal ahead of the UK’s planned departure from the bloc.

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“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union and to ensure continuity for our businesses in both directions, we’ve reached agreement in principle today with our colleagues in Israel,” Fox said at the World Economic Forum summit.

Calling Israel “one of the most cooperative and productive partners” of the UK, Fox added that: “The continuity as we leave the European Union will be a precursor to an even more ambitious agreement in the future.”

Israel’s minister of the economy, Eli Cohen, added that trade between the countries broke the $10bn barrier last year.

“I am sure that this free trade agreement will help us to accelerate and increase even more and strengthen our economic relationship.”

Fox has come under scrutiny for failing to reach any free trade agreements ahead of Brexit as the risk of a no-deal departure looms amid a divided parliament.

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He is expected to meet a series of trade ministers while at Davos, however, including those from South Korea, Hong Kong, Canada and Colombia.

The government is seeking continuity of existing EU free trade agreements, which will not apply to the UK if it leaves with no deal at the end of March.