The U.K. and Turkey have signed tariff-free trading arrangements and are committed to reach a ”more ambitious” agreement in the future, according to the British Department for International Trade.

The free trade agreement was signed by the U.K.’s International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss and Turkey’s Minister for Trade, Ruhsar Pekcan, who met on a video call.

“The deal will secure existing preferential tariffs for the 7,600 UK businesses that exported goods to Turkey in 2019, ensuring the continued tariff-free flow of goods and protecting vital U.K.-Turkey supply chains in the automotive and manufacturing sectors;” the ministry said.

On Jan. 1, the accord will replace the trade agreement between the European Union and Turkey, which currently sets the terms of British and Turkish trade relations. The U.K. left the EU on Jan,  31, 2020 and after a transition period will leave the European single market on Dec. 31, 2020.

The U.K. and Turkey “have also committed to working towards a more ambitious free trade agreement in the future, which will go further than the existing deal and will be tailored to the U.K. economy,” the ministry added.

On Christmas Eve, the U.K. and the EU reached an eleventh-hour trade agreement. The deal, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, has since been approved by the ambassadors of the EU’s 27 member states and signed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council. On the British side, it was approved by the House of Commons and signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The House of Lords, the upper house of the British parliament, still has to examine the agreement while the European Parliament is expected to clear it by the end of February.

The U.K. has reached or is discussing various trade agreements with non-EU countries that can be found at

Photo: Aleks Marinkovic, Unsplash