Britain says it will start talks with Turkey on new free trade deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it intends to start talks with Turkey over refreshing their bilateral free trade deal, with a view to including services and the digital sector in any future agreement.

Britain already has a free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey, which was rolled over when Britain left the European Union, which the trade ministry said was now outdated.

A review of that agreement has resulted in both sides concluding that there is room for it to be improved with a new deal, the ministry said, although negotiations are not expected to formally begin until next year.

The countries have a trading relationship which was worth 23.5 billion pounds ($30.7 billion) last year. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said Britain would use the talks to tailor a new FTA to Britain’s economic strengths.

“I look forward to using the deal to deepen the UK-Turkey trading relationship, drive economic growth and support businesses up and down the country,” she said in a statement.

Any deal could address issues pertaining to goods, such as current quotas on Turkish exports such as olive oil, and well as expand into services, digital and data.

The British government said it would look for input from businesses about their priorities before the talks begin.

($1 = 0.7651 pounds)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Alison Williams)