India and the United Kingdom concluded the fifth round of talks for an India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Negotiation officials undertook these technical talks in a hybrid fashion – with some of the teams meeting in New Delhi, India, and the majority of officials joining virtually.
For this round of negotiations, technical experts from both sides came together for detailed draft treaty text discussions in 85 separate sessions covering 15 policy areas. Indian and UK officials will continue to work intensively throughout the summer towards our target to conclude the majority of talks on a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement by the end of October 2022.
The House of Commons International Agreements Committee, last month, in a report entitled UK-India free trade agreement: Scrutiny of the Government’s Negotiating Objectives’, questioned the Diwali deadline set for the conclusion of the negotiations by Johnson during his visit to India in April.
The committee also cautioned that could risk giving up a good deal for a fast one, by setting a time ambition over and above content . The committee has called on the government to publish a comprehensive trade policy that provides a framework within which all negotiations can be conducted.
This is now expected to be taken up after Parliament is back from its summer recess in September, by which time the UK is expected to have a new Prime Minister either former Chancellor Rishi Sunak or Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.