Brexit will bring closer Israel-UK ties, British envoy says

Britain’s ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey. (British Embassy Israel)

The United Kingdom’s shock referendum decision earlier this year to leave the European Union creates a “real opportunity” for closer ties between Israel and the UK, Britain’s ambassador to Israel said Thursday.

At a Sukkot holiday party at the ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv, Ambassador David Quarrey described the current global political climate as “uncertain.” He said the Brexit referendum result presents “challenges,” but also “creates a real opportunity for Israel and the UK to work even more closely together.”

Once the UK activates the clause allowing it to leave the EU — which newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May has said will happen by March 2017 — negotiations on the terms of Britain’s departure would run for two years. In that time the UK will then have to renegotiate independent trade deals with dozens of countries around the world, including Israel.

Leaving the EU “will certainly present challenges,” Quarrey said. “But with Israel I see the opportunity for closer cooperation on trade, investment, technology, science and security,” he added…

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