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Britain prioritising trade deal but…: UK min on what’s holding up the agreement, new deadline


The UK foreign minister said that during his first visit to the South Asian country, Britain was prioritizing the implementation of a free trade agreement with India but had not yet decided on a new deadline. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who met his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar in New Delhi on Saturday, also confirmed that relations between the two countries will further improve under Rishi Sunak.

“I had a great opportunity to talk about some very important global issues, but also to talk about the strength of our bilateral partnership and about our plans for closer cooperation. with India,” Cleverly told Reuters in an interview at the British residence. High Commissioner.

However, he declined to disclose information regarding what holds the trade deal and the new deadline.

“But this is an important deal for us and one that we really prioritize and one where we will continue to make sure that our officials and our ministers talk about regularly and work hard to perform,” he said.

“We still have a lot of work to do. And it’s extremely important for us to remember that a free trade agreement as far-reaching as the one we’re negotiating, it’s never going to be simple, but it’s an incredibly important vehicle for building strong relationships and for making it truly future-focused.”

Previous sticking points included high import taxes on British whiskey for sale in India. New Delhi is also interested in making UK visas easier for Indians. “We want to make sure that our visa arrangements are quick and easy and convenient,” says Cleverly.

Earlier this week, reports said the bulk of the deal had been completed but the UK government cited that the deal would only be sealed after “being happy it was fair and reciprocal”. Earlier this week, Hands said: “We are working to strike the best deal for both sides … ultimately in the best interest of the British people and the British economy.”

Meanwhile, Sunak also spoke with Indian Prime Minister Modi, after which both said they were “excited” about how the two “great democracies” can be achieved as they deepen their relationship mine.

(With input from agencies)

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