Brexit Britain trade deal talks after record £15.8bn year | Politics | News

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Turkey’s ambassador to the UK has hailed Britain’s record $20billion (£15.8bn) trade volume with his country and the talks taking place to agree a free trade agreement.

Osman Koray Ertas put out a video marking his first 12 months as President Recep Erdogan’s representative in Britain revealing how following Brexit the UK’s relationship with its key ally has blossomed.

The ambassador said: “There have been numerous high-level contacts. Our trade volume reached $20 billion and we announced the start of the negotiations for the free trade agreement.”

He noted how Turkey has maintained “close relationships” with the City of London.

Ertas said: “The UK contributed to the financing of an important railway project in Turkey.”

The investment in the project caused some controversy after Rishi Sunak‘s Government pulled funding for High Speed 2 to Manchester but it is set to make money for both countries when it is completed.

He also hailed the continuing boom in tourism from the UK.

“As one of the world’s largest tourism destinations Turkey welcomed four million Britain’s in the last year,” the ambassador pointed out.

Ambassador Ertas also pointed out that in a world rocked by wars in Gaza and Ukraine, Britain’s strengthened relationship with Turkey has never been more important.

He noted how Turkey was one of the countries to back Mr Sunak’s first global summit on artificial intelligence, a field where President Biden has acknowledged the UK is now leading the way.

He said: “AI and digital transformation will continue to be an important part of our joint agenda.”

The number of Turks in the UK was jhighlighted in the fact that around 67,000 voted in their country’s general election in Britain last year.

There was also a note of gratitude from the ambassador for the UK’s help in providing aid for the twin earthquakes which hit his country.

He said: “I express my gratitude for the solidarity shown by the Royal family, government and all of British society following the twin earthquakes in my country.”

He also wished strength to the Royal family during the “difficult times” wih the cancer diagnosises for both King Charles and Catherine, Princess of Wales.

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