Both the United Kingdom and the GCC need each other. The UK is trying to replace the post-Brexit trade losses with expansion into other markets, and gcc countries want to secure continued military and diplomatic support from the UK. Their security and diplomatic cooperation are also essential to safeguard the interests of both sides throughout the Middle East. Number 10 said the two countries had agreed on an «industrial defence partnership» that would aim to «cooperate closely» with the «Typhoon-Jet». On 31 January, the UK will no longer be a member of the European Union and will regain its status as an «independent» trading partner. In 2019, the country stepped up its efforts to sign trading partners and was able to conclude 20 bilateral «continuity agreements» for 50 countries or territories. While many parts of the world are covered, nations that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, are a notable exception. An agreement reached in 1932 between the British and the ruler of Sharjah led to the construction of a fortified airfield called Al Mahatta Fort to allow the imperial Airways route to be stopped to Brisbane, Australia. During World War II, Royal Air Force aircraft were allowed to refuel in Sharjah. The Al Mahatta Museum is reminiscent of BOAC (formerly Imperial Airways) and other flights that visited the uae`s first airport. [Citation required] No 10 says the UK is looking to sell about 100 Typhoon jets to the UAE and Saudi Arabia as well as building closer defence and security ties. Despite the absence of bilateral agreements between the UK and the Gulf countries, the impact of Brexit on their relations is expected to be minimal. In some areas, this could be an opportunity to strengthen already close cooperation.
London is aware that competition for GCC influence and markets will be fierce with the US, China, Russia and its former EU partners. However, its long history and expertise in the Middle East will no doubt help it play a vital role in the region. Commenting on the meeting, Gargash stated: «Today`s 19th UAE-UK Taskforce meeting provided a forum to address a number of issues central to the during ingduring partnership shared by the UAE and UK. Our two countries remain firmly committed to pursuing prospects for cooperation in key sectors for the benefit of our peoples, and we are optimistic about the results of our fruitful discussions on issues of common importance. By committing to provide military resources for the security of GCC countries, the United Kingdom has been successful in maintaining its position as the leading arms supplier.