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London should seek stronger trade ties with India post-Brexit says UK MPs

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Christian Fernsby |
UK House of Commons
Britain   UK House of Commons

The United Kingdom (UK) government should boost trade relations with India as the country prepares to leaves the European Union (EU), a Parliament report said.

"As India has boomed over the last two decades, the UK has fallen behind other countries in its share of India's fast-growing trade with the world. This is an expensive missed opportunity," the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the UK House of Commons report said.

While India is among the top four investors in the UK, bilateral trade is lagging behind its potential. The UK has gone from being India's second-biggest trade partner in 1998-1999 to 17th in 2018-2019, which means the UK has a smaller slice of a much bigger cake of India's growing global trade, the report said.

The UK government has said Brexit will allow for a closer relationship with India, and that the Asian country is central to its aspirations for a more outward-facing global Britain.

"However, a full UK-India trade deal is unlikely to be signed in the near term," the report said, urging the government to prioritize trade talks with India and do more to lay the groundwork for an eventual deal.

The report expressed concerns about the UK government's policy of reducing net migration, given that most post-Brexit trade deals will require a relaxation of current immigration policy.

It called on the UK government to open doors for Indian entrepreneurs, tech workers, tourists and students, as facilitating the movement of these groups is inseparable from the goal of increasing trade with India.

June 1, 2019


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