United Kingdom (UK) is a leading economic and political power in Europe. British legacy in the Middle East and its economic and political strength make it a key player in the region. The UK is an important partner of Israel in the fields of security and diplomacy. Over the past decade, Israeli and British policymakers have increasingly recognized the value of cooperation on shared challenges. Consequently, political ties have grown stronger, despite shifts in transatlantic relations, Brexit negotiations, and differences over Iran and the Palestinian issue.
Israel’s growing ties with the UK center on high tech, science and innovation, healthcare, energy, defense, counter terrorism, cyber security and aviation. The UK has identified Israel as one of its top five trade priority countries and one of its top strategic partners in the region. Trade between the UK and Israel increased by 26%, from $7.2 billion in 2016 to $9.1 billion in 2017. The UK is Israel’s second largest export market globally; Israeli firms and technologies have developed a significant presence in the UK. For instance, approximately one-third of all prescription drugs in the UK originate in Israel and Britain’s largest banks are primarily protected by Israeli cyber-security technologies.
The UK-Israel Strategic Dialogues, organized jointly by the Forum of Strategic Dialogue, a member of the ELNET network, and London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), provide a unique platform for strategic discussions between British and Israeli policymakers and experts.
The 5th UK-Israel Strategic Dialogue proved a highly valuable platform for a rich policy discussion by senior officials and experts. It highlighted the huge potential for further developing Israel-UK cooperation in a range of fields.
In the last years bilateral relations between the two countries have grown deeper and broader than ever before, particularly in trade, cyber and innovation.