The British government has welcomed news that Qatar will invest £5bnn in Britain, a day before Article 50 is triggered and Britain’s formal divorce process from the European Union begins.
The deal announced by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani on Monday will see the emirate focus investments in energy, infrastructure, real estate and services within five years across the UK, including Scotland.
The announcement came as the UK's prime minister, Theresa May, said she hoped a new trade deal could be struck with the Gulf states in the wake of the UK's exit from the EU.
Speaking shortly after appearing at the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum in London, which represents some 400 Qatari businesses, al-Thani said: "Over the next three to five years Qatar will invest £5bn ($6.23bn) in the UK economy through various investment funds and relevant parties - which will constitute another addition to its already successful investments in the UK.”
HE the PM: #Qatar will invest £5 billion in the UK economy over the next 3-5 years, adding to its already successful investments in the UK pic.twitter.com/nrYnSYr7Q6
UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the deal would lift the mood of uncertainty surrounding Britain’s post-Brexit future.
"Qatar's emir has given a strong vote of confidence and faith in our economy,” Fox told a Qatar-UK investment conference in Birmingham on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking at the same conference, also announced plans on Tuesday to deepen the UK's relationship with Qatar in areas including defence, education, healthcare, energy and financial services as well as a post-Brexit regional trade deal.
"I hope we can pave the way for an ambitious trade agreement for when the UK has left the EU, including exploring whether we can forge a new trade agreement for the whole of the Gulf area," she said.