Brexit: Ed Davey slams 'red tape bonanza' trade deal
Britain and the EU have finally sealed a post-Brexit trade agreement, ending months of bitter talks and disagreements over fishing rights and future business rules. On Thursday afternoon, a statement from Downing Street announced “the deal is done” – swiftly followed by a confirmation from Brussels. Speaking shortly after the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement was a “good deal” for the “whole of Europe” – one that signified “a new stability and a new certainty in what has sometimes been a fractious and difficult relationship”.
He added: “We’ve taken back control of our laws and our destiny. From January 1, we are outside the customs union and outside the single market. British laws will be made solely by the British Parliament, interpreted by the UK judges sitting in UK courts and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end.”
Mr Johnson also said the UK had achieved a “Canada-style” trade deal worth £660 billion and addressed the agreement on fisheries, a major issue during the negotiations, saying that the UK had taken back “full control” of its waters.
The deal is without a doubt a huge triumph for the Prime Minister, who in December last year, won a thumping majority at the general election with the promise “to get Brexit done”.
It could, however, complicate things for Brussels and its future trade deals.
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India and the EU have been working on a Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) since 2007, but India’s trade regime and regulatory environment remains comparatively restrictive.
Seven rounds of negotiations have been completed without reaching an FTA.
Robert Kimbell, the chairman of the eurosceptic Time Party in the UK, claimed on Twitter that because of the deal reached between Britain and the bloc, India could stop negotiations with the EU altogether.
He wrote: “The Indians – who’ve been negotiating with the EU for a free trade deal since 2007 – are now repositioning themselves in the light of the UK’s departure from the European bloc.
“Britain has been a huge constituent of India’s trade with the EU, so the EU now looks far less enticing.”
According to the World Bank’s trade monitoring service WITS, in its most recent report, the value of total goods imports by India from France and the UK were $8.55billion (£63.4bn) from the UK and $4.34billon (£3.24bn) from France.
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Indian exports were $9.74billion (£7.2bn) to the UK and $5.28billion (£5.2) to France.
Commenting on the UK-EU trade deal, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) director general Ajay Sahai said: “There is not much gain for Indian goods, but we can gain in the services sector in both the UK and EU markets.
“We will gain more in the UK markets as we are an English speaking country.”
FIEO President Sharad Kumar Saraf said India should now “aggressively” move on starting negotiations for FTA with the UK.
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He said: “We have requested the Government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a deadline to conclude FTA talks with Britain during the visit of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson next month in India.”
Rakesh Mohan Joshi, professor at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, claimed that after the trade deal with the EU and the UK, India will get a better opportunity to cater to the demands of both the markets, though.
He added: “But India needs to plan accordingly.”
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