U.K. to secure British-Turkish bilateral trade agreement; Ankara Agreement valid for 2020
British Ambassador of Turkey, Sir Dominick Chilcott said on Feb. 7 that the Ankara Agreement and Customs Union with Turkey will continue during the Brexit transition period of 2020 and the two countries will work to sign a bilateral, free trade agreement to be put into effect as of Jan. 1, 2021.
The U.K. government is aware of the most crucial issues regarding Turkish citizens after Brexit, as well as the rights of Turkish citizens living in U.K. granted by the Ankara Agreement, regulating the bilateral trade across the border.
The current U.K. visa scheme for Turkish business-people and their families is based the Ankara Agreement of 1963 between Turkey and the European Economic Community, a predecessor to the EU.
A new immigration system which, similarly to the Australian points-based immigration system, will be introduced to Turkish citizens and tuned according to the need of the British labor market.
Chilcott emphasised that the sequence requires the finalisation of a U.K.-EU deal before the U.K. could complete negotiations with Turkey on a bilateral free trade agreement. Indeed, the Customs Union rules forbid Turkey to have a separate free trade agreement with a third-party country.
Goods passing according to the Customs Union agreement accounted for about 90 percent of British-Turkish trade, worth over 20 billion dollars a year to the U.K.
In the last decade, this figure increased by 50 percent.
Hence, a British-Turkish Free Trade agreement is a very important bilateral trade which needs to be in place by the 1st of January 2021 to ensure continuity of this very valuable transaction.