Bilateral deal signed with UK for defence, security, policing, trade

  • Lusa
  • 14 June 2022

From the trade point of view, in addition to the convention to avoid double taxation, the governments want to "share information on trade and investment flows at the bilateral level".

The joint Portuguese-British declaration signed on Monday in London by prime ministers Boris Johnson and António Costa provides for a new convention to avoid double taxation in trade and a bilateral agreement in the area of defence.

Portugal and the United Kingdom will “deepen cooperation in defence matters by concluding negotiations and signing a new bilateral defence agreement,” the joint Portuguese-British declaration highlights in the chapter on security.

The document also highlights the area of cooperation in criminal investigation and has a reference to the current international situation with Portugal and the United Kingdom committing to strengthen “peace and security in Europe, including through coordination in support of Ukraine and in response to Russian aggression.

“As democracies in the 21st century that share the same values, we are determined to work together as part of a wide network that defends freedom and democracy, free trade, human rights and the rule of law,” reads the introductory part of the document signed by Boris Johnson and António Costa.

“From a political and geostrategic point of view, Portugal and the United Kingdom retain a commitment to collective defence through the Atlantic Alliance.

“We will work together to strengthen NATO’s long-term defensive posture and to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance has a wide network of partnerships aimed at strengthening security, enabling it to address all Euro-Atlantic security threats. We will deepen our diplomatic and security and defence cooperation, strengthening our joint capacity to overcome current and future threats to our security,” the joint statement said.

In the area of policing, Portugal and the UK will cooperate “in specialised areas of serious and organised crime, such as drug trafficking, terrorism and cybercrime”.

“Maximise opportunities for sharing experience and good practice, including through possible cooperation/training protocols between the Special Police Unit (SDU) and UK counterparts” and “explore opportunities to intensify bilateral cooperation on policing and criminal justice”, are other objectives identified in this area.

The two countries also signed bilateral agreements “on national security and sharing information on immigration, arms, ammunition and explosives, and possible opportunities for cooperation projects in the area of defence.

From the trade point of view, in addition to the convention to avoid double taxation, the governments of London and Lisbon want to “share information on trade and investment flows at the bilateral level, as well as on existing barriers.

In this sector, the objectives have been defined as bringing together Portugal’s Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP) and the British Department for International Trade (DIT), in order to promote the best possible conditions for business operators in both countries.

“Supporting greater involvement between non-governmental actors, such as business confederations, chambers of commerce and business associations in specific relevant sectors,” and “working together to promote the economic security of the two countries and that of our partners, including through a joint effort to strengthen energy security and promote the resilience and diversity of supply chains for critical goods and materials,” are other points provided for in this agreement.

The document also presents a part about British residents in Portugal and Portuguese in the United Kingdom, underlining “the strong ties that unite the two peoples”.

“First and foremost, through the significant communities of our diasporas, but also encompassing joint research projects, close links in higher education, business links and significant tourism flows. The exchange of people and ideas is at the heart of our partnership and should be valued and supported,” it added.