Below is a press release issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 26/10/2019.
The UK government signed a trade and political continuity agreement with the Moroccan government in London on 26 October 2019.
– trade between the UK and Morocco was worth £2.5 billion in 2018
– the UK has now secured trade with countries accounting for £109 billion
– this agreement will ensure British businesses and consumers benefit from continued access to the Moroccan market after we leave the EU
The Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr Andrew Murrison signed the agreement with the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita.
Welcoming the agreement, Minister of State Dr Andrew Murrison said:
The UK and Morocco have a close friendship and an important diplomatic history that is over 800 years old.
The signing of this Agreement builds on the UK’s deep cultural, political and economic ties with the region and demonstrates our commitment to increase trade and constructive dialogue with Morocco.
Importantly, the Agreement will give exporters and consumers the certainty they need to continue trading freely and in confidence as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
The agreement will ensure British businesses and consumers benefit from continued trade with Morocco after we leave the EU. It provides, among other trade benefits, tariff-free trade of industrial products together with liberalisation of trade in agricultural, agri-food and fisheries products.
Minister of State for Trade Policy, Conor Burns said:
The world is ready to sign free trade deals with Britain, they want to work with our people and have better links with our industries and it is our priority to ensure businesses have the tools they need to continue trading freely after Brexit.
The agreement signed with Morocco today will help provide certainty for businesses, ensuring they can continue to trade on the same terms with our Moroccan partners. On my recent visit to Morocco, I witnessed first-hand the many opportunities available to UK and Moroccan firms to advance our trade together.
I look forward to maintaining and further strengthening our current trade, political and security relationship with Morocco as we continue to work closely together in the future.
In addition to growing trade, today’s agreement seeks to deepen UK-Moroccan co-operation across foreign policy, economic, social and cultural ties. The Agreement provides a framework for policy dialogue and to strengthen cooperation on important issues like trade, educational and environmental matters. The Agreement sends a strong signal that Britain is committed to a close bilateral relationship with Morocco and will continue to play a positive role in the region.
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, said:
“Morocco has a well-diversified and modern market across a number of sectors where UK companies and expertise have much to offer. I hope that this Agreement will usher in a new phase of increased bilateral investment in each other’s economies, which is so essential for continued stable economic growth.”
– this Agreement will be subject to domestic parliamentary procedures in both the UK and Morocco before it is brought into force
– this Agreement is designed to take effect when the EU-Morocco Association Agreement ceases to apply to the UK. If we leave the EU at the end of October, the Agreement will come into effect on a provisional basis to maintain continuity before both Parties have completed their respective domestic procedures
– the UK has signed or agreed in principle 18 Trade Continuity Agreements with 48 countries. A regularly updated list of all signed agreements is available on GOV.UK
– statistics sourced from ONS ‘UK total trade: all countries, non-seasonally adjusted January to March 2019 release’. Figures relate to 2018. Note that this includes routine data revisions since the previous ONS release
– the UK-Morocco Association Agreement replicates the effects of the existing trade and non-trade provisions as far as possible. Under the Agreement consumers in the UK will continue to benefit from lower prices on goods imported from Morocco, such as fruit and vegetables. Consumers in Morocco will continue to benefit from lower tariffs on products such as dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables from the UK