Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK and Israel to sign landmark agreement deepening tech, trade and security ties [March 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 21 March 2023.

The UK and Israel will today sign the 2030 Roadmap for UK-Israeli Bilateral Relations, boosting economic, security and technology ties.

  • The Foreign Secretary and Israeli Foreign Minister will today sign the 2030 Roadmap for UK-Israeli Bilateral Relations, boosting economic, security and technology ties.
  • The Roadmap builds on 75 years of close relations between the two countries and includes shared commitments to tackle the scourge of antisemitism.
  • The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Cohen are also expected to discuss the recent spike in violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the threat posed by Iran.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will host his Israeli counterpart Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in London today (21 March) to sign a landmark agreement that will define bilateral relations between their two countries until 2030.

The UK and Israel are committed to a modern, innovative and forward-looking relationship that continues to focus on mutual priorities for mutual benefit. The 2030 Roadmap for Israel-UK Bilateral Relations is an ambitious agreement that will ensure the partnership remains modern and continues to innovate to address shared challenges. Adopting a thematic approach, the Roadmap contains detailed commitments for deepening cooperation across the breadth of the Israel-UK relationship, including on trade, cyber, science and tech, research and development, security, health, climate and gender.

New multi-million-pound programmes announced in the Roadmap, including around £20m of joint funding commitments on technology and innovation, will enable both countries to remain at the forefront of the technological revolution. The UK is also committed to working closely with Israel to tackle the scourge of antisemitism. As chair for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2024, the UK will promote fact-based knowledge of the Holocaust and strengthen media and information literacy.

Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said ahead of the visit:

The UK-Israel Bilateral Roadmap is a testament to the strength of our close and historic relationship.

As we approach the 75th anniversary of UK-Israel relations, our Roadmap will allow us to fully take advantage of the opportunities in areas of mutual interest, including tech, trade and security.

The UK and Israel also stand together, defiant in the face of the malign influence of Iran in the region, and against the wider scourge of antisemitism.

The UK-Israel relationship has already delivered huge benefits to both economies. Our trade relationship is worth around £7bn, and there are more than 400 Israeli tech firms operating in the UK. Israeli investment into the UK drives growth and jobs, adding around £1bn gross value to the UK economy and creating about 16,000 jobs in the last eight years.

The Roadmap is the culmination of efforts that began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2021 to work more closely over the next decade on cyber, technology, trade and defence, which formally elevated the UK’s relationship with Israel to a ‘strategic partnership’. Last year, the UK and Israel launched negotiations for a new free trade agreement, with a focus on innovation and the aim of upgrading the trading relationship. The new trade deal, by lowering barriers and championing free trade, is a key priority for both governments.

During the visit, the Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary will also discuss areas of shared concern including countering the current threat from Iran and tackling Iran’s destabilising and malign activity in the Middle East, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the UK’s ongoing support for the Abraham Accords.

The Foreign Secretary will also raise the UK’s concerns about the recent spike in violence in the Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the need for all parties to take steps to deescalate and end the cycle of violence.