Boris pushes for UK-India trade deal to be completed by October

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a virtual call from No9 Downing Street, with the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said closing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India, the world’s sixth largest economy, will be a a major prize for the UK post-Brexit and hopes a deal will be in place by the end of October.

The United Kingdom and Republic of India have now concluded the fifth round of talks for an agreement with both sides saying they will continue to work intensively throughout the summer to get the deal done.

The PM has said he sees India as a crucial element of his “tilt to the Indo-Pacific,” part of a post-Brexit foreign policy that seeks to strengthen relations with democracies in the region as a counterweight to China.

The UK-India trade deal will also support hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost the economies of both the UK and India by potentially lowering or removing current tariffs such as those of up to 150% on items such as whisky and up to 125% on cars and other British products. It would also create huge benefits for British services – 4 out of 5 of India’s fastest-growing imports are for services like IP and telecommunications.

For this fifth round of negotiations with India, technical experts from both sides came together for detailed draft treaty text discussions in 85 separate sessions covering 15 policy areas.

Negotiation officials undertook these technical talks in a hybrid fashion – with some of the teams meeting in New Delhi, India, and the majority of officials joining virtually.

Indian and UK officials say they will continue to work intensively throughout the summer towards the Prime Minister’s target of concluding the majority of talks on a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement by the end of October 2022.

The EU has been trying for years to reach a meaningful deal with India, with little success.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. 600,000 foreign students pay 30k a year to Academia avoid boat trips across channell. How much Housing do they use How many Doctors …but we must keep Academia Happy

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