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Rishi Sunak won't sacrifice quality for speed on UK-India trade deal

Britain has completed most of the sections of a free trade agreement with India, Trade Minister Greg Hands said last month.

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Rishi Sunak | Free Trade Agreements | UK

Kitty Donaldson | Bloomberg 



Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Prime Minister said he won’t “sacrifice quality for speed” when securing the final details of a free trade agreement with ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister on Wednesday.

“No doubt we’ll be talking about it again when we meet this week,” Sunak told reporters on his way to the Group of 20 summit of industrialized nations in Bali. “But I wouldn’t sacrifice quality for speed. And that goes for all trade deals. It’s important that we get them right rather than rush them.”

Britain has completed most of the sections of a free trade agreement with India, Trade Minister Greg Hands said last month. The government had previously said it wanted to finalize the deal by the Hindu festival of Diwali, an October deadline which has now passed. The current UK- trading relationship is worth £24 billion ($28 billion).

As the two nations edge toward signing the deal, the also confirmed an earlier announcement that it’s offering 3,000 visa places annually to 18–30 year-old degree educated Indian nationals to come to the to live and work for up to two years. The scheme will be reciprocal.

Sunak will be especially mindful of any criticism of his handling of the latest post-Brexit trade deal. On Monday, former Environment Secretary George Eustice said the country needs to recognize the “failures” of the Department for Trade during the negotiations with Australia over a similar free trade agreement. He also blamed Liz Truss, the then trade secretary, for setting an arbitrary time target, and therefore “setting the clock against us and shattering our own negotiating position.”


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First Published: Wed, November 16 2022. 09:34 IST

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