UK-India Trade Deal Imminent?


When Boris Johnson signed off on a memorable India trip he sounded positive about a trade agreement:

“And I want to say a big, big thank you to our Indian friends and back to the UK now. The India-UK joint statement said the UK and the Indian sides are set to begin the third round of negotiations on the proposed free trade agreement from April 25. The two prime ministers set a target for concluding the “majority of talks on a comprehensive and balanced free trade agreement by the end of October”, according to a joint statement.

“We are coming to the end of a fantastic couple of days here in India. And the agenda that we have now together is enormous and it’s incredibly exciting. We are working together on clean, green technology, from wind farms to hydrogen. We have got a massive agenda on defence and security and of course we want to get our free trade deal, a new UK-India free trade deal done by October, by Diwali. Now can we do it?” Boris Johnson said in his video.

The target of a free trade deal by October, by Diwali was specified in advance by Mr Johnson. There seems now to be considerable momentum behind such an agreement being signed within the timescale.

Whether that turns out to be forthcoming and on time or not, Mr Johnson has reasons to be positive:

“I just give you the evidence of what we have already achieved on this trip. Deals worth a billion pounds, driving jobs in the UK to the tune of 11,000 new jobs. And that’s fundamentally what it’s all about. It’s about driving growth and driving prosperity in both our countries, tackling the issues that are the priorities of the British people, above all, getting more high wage, high wage high skilled jobs,” the UK PM said in the video message.

Interesting times ahead.