Recently becoming the first female leader to attend the Gulf Co-operation Council Theresa May has been discussion with Gulf states in an attempt to secure trade deals with the Gulf states post Brexit.
Despite concerns in the United Kingdom over human rights abuses in many of the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia the British government is seeking assurances and closer ties with the Middle East. Before the talks Theresa May said “we don’t uphold our values and human rights by turning our back on this issue; We achieve far more by stepping up, engaging with these countries.”
The United Kingdom is to take part in the Dubai World Expo 2020 with 180 other nations. As part of the discussions the British government is in discussions with Saudi Arabia on visa issue and under a new agreement British businesses will be able to obtain five year multiple entry visas for the very first time. Further discussions on relaxing work visas between the United Kingdom and other Gulf states will also be on going in a bid to increase trade between the regions.
Following the surprise vote to leave the European Union back in June the Prime Minister has been travelling extensively to try and secure trade deals to replace those in Europe that will be lost post Brexit. There have already been talks in India to discuss relaxation of visa rules between the countries in return for more trade agreements but Mrs May is facing pressure from those within the UK to restrict immigration rather than relax visa regulations but it is clear that many countries will be seeking favorable visa arrangements in exchange for increased trade deals. The talks in the Middle East and India have set the tone for future talks with other nations in a bid to find the best way forward for the UK.