Brexit latest news: Boris Johnson hails ‘new high’ with India in £1bn trade deal | Politics | News

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Ministers have agreed on a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) which will boost “bilateral trade and economic relations” with the world’s fifth-biggest economy. The deal is set to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he meets his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during a summit today in a bid to build a new relationship with New Delhi. 

As part of the deal, India will invest more than £533m into the UK economy.

More than 6,500 new jobs will be created from the investment in growing sectors such as health and technology.

The deal is also expected to allow British products such as British apples, pears and quince into the Indian market for the first time and pave the way for a wider free trade agreement (FTA) that will cut tariffs on whisky and cars. 

UK and Indian counterparts also said it would improve trading across borders and standards to make it easier for UK investors and exporters to do business in India. 

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The India argeement is the latest post-Brexit trade ETP (Image: GETTY)

Piyush Goyal

Shri Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry (Image: Shri Piyush Goyal/Indian Trade Minister)

Under the new agreement, the deal is also expected to strengthen vaccine cooperation between both countries.

A £240 million investment will be made by the Serum Institute of India which will support research and development, support clinical trials and possibly the manufacturing of vaccines.

Serum, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has started phase one trials in the UK of a one-dose nasal vaccine for coronavirus.

Whitehall officials said the new partnership will help the UK and the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and other deadly diseases.

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Boris Johnson said they reaching ‘new highs’ with India (Image: PA)

Ahead of the deal being announced, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.

“Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs we have announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies.

“In the decade ahead, with the help of new Partnership signed today and a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs.”

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss held a series of talks with her counterpart Shri Piyush Goyal to bring the ETP to fruition.

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss (Image: GETTY)

Ms Truss said India’s trade relationship was worth £23billion in 2019 with more than 383 Indian companies in the UK supporting 82,000 jobs.

Sources close to Ms Truss last night told the Express the agreement is one of the “most important” agreements struck in post-Brexit Britain.

A source close to the International Trade Secretary added: “The agreement shows post-Brexit UK is open for business, it’s a fantastic boost for us.

“India is an important friend and ally of the UK.”

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said there was a “fantastic diaspora” between the two countries.

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Brexit timeline (Image: Express Newspapers )

He added: “We want to take the opportunity of launching this new relationship we seek now we have left the European Union.

“Both countries are looking at how we can build back better from COVID in a way which brings the two countries closer together.

“Our Prime Minister knows India well, he has visited India often and he’s very keen to come.”

A spokesman for India’s Prime Minister said last night: “India and the UK enjoy a Strategic Partnership since 2004.

“It has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing convergences in diverse areas.

“The Summit will be an important opportunity to elevate our multi-faceted strategic ties and enhance cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

 

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“A comprehensive Roadmap 2030 will be launched during the Summit, which will pave the way for further expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas, namely people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare.”

It comes as Ministers rushed to increase aid for India’s teetering health care system on Sunday by providing more oxygen ventilators and expert advice.

Doctors across the country are grappling with a surge in coronavirus infections that is killing thousands of people a day. 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb said the UK will send an additional 1,000 ventilators to India. 

In addition, the NHS is creating an advisory group to share its expertise with Indian authorities. 

Cases have soared by around eight million since the end of March, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi under growing pressure to take decisive action to reverse the surge.



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