“Downing Street said the new partnership would ‘pave the way’ for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement … The deal, announced ahead of a virtual meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, includes a £240m investment by the Serum Institute of India, which will support clinical trials, research and possibly the manufacturing of vaccines”.
“The deal”? Do go on. “Indian investment deals will create 1,000 new UK jobs each at health and tech firms Infosys, HCL Technologies and Mphasis. Some 667 UK jobs will be created at Q-Rich Creations, 500 jobs at Wipro and 465 at 12 Agro … Trade Secretary Liz Truss told the BBC that the jobs would be created ‘within the next year or so’”.
Only further down the article are we told “[Ms Truss] said those commitments were ‘very different’ from a free-trade deal, which the two governments will start negotiating on this autumn. Discussions will include lowering tariff barriers and new agreements on ‘digital and data’”. Also, “to do that, the UK is likely to have to relax immigration rules between India and the UK, Ms Truss added”. More immigrants! Gammon meltdown!!
Moreover, as the Guardian cautioned, “At the moment, the UK conducts £23bn of trade - exports plus imports - with India every year … India was the UK’s 19th biggest export market, just below Singapore, Sweden and Saudi Arabia, and exports actually fell slightly in 2019. By contrast, exports were up strongly to China, which came sixth in the league table at £30bn. In comparison, UK exports to the EU totalled £293bn”. There was more.
“As a result, an extra £1bn (a 4% increase), barely moves the dial and underlies the importance of a more comprehensive trade deal … While such a deal would have benefits to both countries, striking one will be far from simple. India is a relatively closed economy with a long history of protectionism”. The Independent has now brought worse news.
The Indy put it directly: “The EU is poised to steal a march on the UK in the hunt for a post-Brexit trade deal with India, as Boris Johnson announced only an 'enhanced partnership' with Delhi … Brussels hailed 'clear momentum', with talks on a free trade agreement to be confirmed as early as Saturday, threatening to put the UK in the slow lane in the race for negotiations”. Plus the EU has a team of seasoned negotiators ready to go. Do go on.
“Those negotiations were suspended in 2013 after disagreements over tariff rules for car parts and free-movement rights for professionals, but resuming them has been a priority for both sides. The move was discussed in a call on Monday between Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, and Mr Modi”. And it got worse.
“Trade deals with India and the United States are the priorities for the government, Brexit supporters having once promised they would be delivered easily and quickly. But with US president Joe Biden also stalling on talks, the UK has been forced to focus on deals with far-flung Australia and New Zealand, despite those agreements offering virtually no economic gain”. Also, Ms Truss has managed to insult the Aussies, which won’t exactly speed any new trade deal. The Beeb has misled its audience on this one.
The UK is in the slow lane. And the EU isn’t. What you won’t hear from Brexit boosters.
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