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UK's Brexit strategy may hit plans for free trade pact with India

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The UK government's latest blueprint for released today threatens to derail plans for closer trade ties with as it would prevent Britain from making the kind of concessions on trade in goods that seeks, according to details of a confidential report.

The so-called White Paper has already shaken up Theresa May's leadership following resignations of her and Boris Johnson, who disagreed with what is seen as a much closer alignment with the (EU) than desired, as it would reportedly make trade deals with other countries more difficult.

Now, according to details of a confidential joint Trade Review released to Unearthed', it would appear that would be among the countries unlikely to reap many post-Brexit benefits.

The trade review highlights a range of non-tariff barriers to trade identified by Indian businesses that the would want the UK to reconsider as part of any new post-Brexit trade deal.

These include limits on fungicides in Basmati rice, the enforcement of hygiene standards for milk and dairy products, such as 'paneer', and the use of across a range of products. These rules are imposed by the EU and under the new Brexit plan of a common rule book between the UK and EU on goods, any changes to standards or are unlikely.

The UK is due to leave the 28-member on March 29, 2019, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU after that.

Dominic Raab, who became Brexit on Monday after Davis quit in protest at the plan thrashed out at May's country last week, stressed it struck the right balance between protecting existing arrangements with the EU and freeing up the UK to look further afield.

The (DIT) also sought to downplay the impact of the strategy on trade ties with countries like India.

A said, As we leave the EU, we will forge new and ambitious trade links around the world, while also maintaining our high standards on animal welfare and

The joint trade review's findings underline the continued strength of the bilateral relationship between the UK and India, and we are committed to driving forward this mutually beneficial trading arrangement, the said.

The UK-India Joint Trade Review, which also focused on life sciences and information technology, formed the crux of a new UK-India trade partnership announced during Narendra Modi's visit to the UK in April for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). But experts have warned that closer trade relations still face considerable hurdles.

The commitments to bind the UK to the EU's regulatory approach on goods will constrain the ability of the UK to address Indian demands related to food and plant health, said Sam Lowe, Senior Research Fellow at the

As to whether the UK would be able to lower tariffs in future, it is dependent on whether the UK facilitated customs arrangement does indeed allow it to run a dual tariff regime at the border, he said.

Meanwhile, further voices of dissent emerged around the government's Brexit strategy, with describing it as a real blow to the UK's financial and related professional services sector.

With looser trade ties to Europe, the financial and related professional services sector will be less able to create jobs, generate tax and support growth across the wider economy. It's that simple, said Catherine McGuinness, the corporation's

The Brexit White Paper, which was greeted with some chaotic scenes in the today, has been described as the most important document to emerge since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 20:20 IST