Britain’s Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, hosted a Sukkot holiday party at his residcence in Tel, Aviv last week where he spoke about the impact of Brexit on Israel-UK relations.
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.
The impact on Israel’s economy and high-tech sector is expected to be limited, economists and commentators say, though they note there is still too much uncertainty for reliable predictions. The prospect of London’s shrinking role on the European stage, however, could put on hold Israeli companies’ plans to set up branches in the UK and could keep them from offering shares in what is still the world’s second-most important financial center after New York.
Diplomatically, with the UK out of the EU, Israel believes it is losing a friend in the union. In an interview with Israeli broadcaster Channel 2 a day after the June 23 referendum, Quarrey said that Israel will now have to navigate relations with the European Union without London playing the role of arbiter.
“We have been a friend of Israel in the EU, we’ll be a friend of Israel outside the EU, but Israel’s relations with the EU in the future will have to be determined without Britain at the table,” he said at the time.
His latest comments suggest the UK is seeking not just to maintain ties with the Jewish state, but to bolster them further.
Read more at the Times of Israel