U.K.- India trade talks continuing under Rishi Sunak government: Downing Street

Image credit: The Hindu

According to No. 10 Downing Street, negotiations between India and the U.K. to complete a trade agreement have resumed under the Rishi Sunak administration.

The Hindu received confirmation from a U.K. Prime Minister spokesperson that talks have picked back up under the nine-day-old Sunak administration.

When questioned about the state of talks under the new British administration, the spokeswoman responded, “Yes, conversations continue,” during a briefing for the international press on Wednesday afternoon.

A trade agreement that was supposed to be finalised by Deepavali fell through at the last minute, in part because Liz Truss’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman had made remarks about how Indians make up the majority of visa overstayers in the U.K. The government had taken exception to the statement, and the Indian High Commission in London responded by claiming that it had handled every instance of visa overstaying that the Home Office had brought to its attention. India wants its specialists to be more mobile across borders to offer services in the UK.

The spokesperson responded that the U.K. had “every expectation of securing a landmark trade deal” and that “intense negotiations,” led by the Department for International Trade, were currently underway. The spokesperson was asked by The Hindu if Mr Sunak was concerned that his reappointment of Ms Braverman (to the position of Home Secretary) might cause delays to the trade talks. On October 28, Mr Sunak and the prime minister talked about finalising the trade agreement.

The spokesperson said, adding that both parties remained committed: “In terms of speed, we’ve been very clear that we won’t trade quality to get speed, and so we’re going to sign it when we have a balanced arrangement that represents both of our interests.”

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