UK is courting Turkey with an eye on post-Brexit trade - FT

UK has focused on improving relations over the past two years and doubled its export finance programme to Turkey to £3.5bn last year, the Financial Times said on Sunday when evaluating the trade relations between two countries.

“Brexit Britain is desperately seeking to boost trade and investment with Turkey to compensate for the expected loss of trade within the UK-EU once barriers rise between them,” said Fadi Hakura, manager of the Turkey Project at Chatham House to the FT.

Turkey is not currently a large market for the UK, but in 2016, it climbed three positions to be the 19th largest UK’s goods exports destination, according to the FT.

According to Marcus Chenevix, an analyst at TS Lombard, the UK sees Turkey “as a fast-growing market for exactly the kind of exports that British governments are always trying to encourage, namely cars, machinery and pharmaceuticals, all of which generate jobs in areas where elections are won.”

The UK is Turkey’s second largest exports destination after Germany but it is relatively small compared with the EU27, the FT said.

“[The UK] needs Turkey more than ever as an economic and geopolitical partner”, Marcus Chenevix said to the FT. According to Fadi Hakura, this could mean fewer “vocal complaints about deteriorating standards for democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law in Turkey.”

"We would like to make this process [Brexit] an opportunity to increase our already-positive economic relations," president Erdogan said to reporters on Sunday before leaving for the UK.