GCC said to seek early trade deal with UK after Brexit

Saudi Arabia foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir reportedly tells British MPs he is keen for region to do business
British Prime Minister Theresa May. (Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Sun 11 Sep 2016 10:07 AM

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a political and economic alliance made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, is reportedly seeking an early trade agreement with the UK post-Brexit.

Saudi Arabia foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir has told MPs that the he and the rest of the Gulf countries want to do business with the UK, according to former Conservative minister Crispin Blunt.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Al-Jubeir was in London this week and met with MPs to discuss the issue.

It quoted Blunt as asking Prime Minister Theresa May: "Is she as delighted as I am that he made clear to parliamentarians this morning that we can now add the GCC to the list of those parts of the world seeking an early free trade agreement?" s

May said she echoed these comments, adding: "I'm pleased that has been reiterated. It was an issue I discussed with the Deputy Crown Prince and I'm pleased the GCC are in that position too."

May had earlier told the House of Commons that India, Mexico and Singapore had already shown an early interest in negotiating trade deals with the UK.

In July, Fitch Ratings said in a research noted that any immediate effects of the UK's referendum vote to leave the EU on Middle East sovereigns appear limited.

The ratings agency said short-term effects could come via market volatility, while a slowdown in British and European growth could weigh on Middle East economies at a time of already heightened strains.

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