UK and Qatar set up joint committee to pave way for post-Brexit trade deal - May

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BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Britain is establishing a joint economic and trade committee to pave the way for a post-Brexit trade agreement with Qatar and the rest of the Gulf, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday.

May, who is due to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union on Wednesday, said Britain was seeking to deepen its relationship with Qatar in areas including defence, education, healthcare, energy and financial services.

“I’m delighted that we are also establishing a new joint economic and trade committee,” she told a Qatar-UK investment conference in Birmingham, central England. She is due to meet Qatari investors later on Tuesday.

“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 added.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser al-Thani told the conference that the wealthy Gulf state’s planned 5 billion pounds of investment in Britain, announced on Monday, would be across all parts of the country, including Scotland.

Reporting by Tom Finn, Writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison