Britain closing in on Turkey trade deal, top envoy says

Britain and Turkey are closing in on a free trade deal after a fresh round of technical talks, said Judith Slater, Britain’s consul general for Istanbul.

“Further progress made on draft UK-Turkey Free Trade Agreement at ninth round of technical talks on 28 July,” Judith Slater said in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday.

The British government aims to “put arrangements in place this year for our future trading relationship,” she said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cited Turkey as a key future trading partner as Downing Street seeks to secure the country’s long-term economic prosperity post-Brexit. Turkey’s government is seeking to boost exports to help revive its ailing economy and to help secure President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political future beyond 2023, the country’s centenary.  

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who visited London for top level meetings earlier this month, told The Financial Times that negotiations with Britain on a trade deal covering manufactured goods, agriculture, and services were “going very well" and that they were "close to finalising it”.