If Labour wins UK polls, party says ‘ready to go’ for FTA with India

If Labour wins UK polls, party says 'ready to go' for FTA with India

LONDON: The UK’s opposition Labour Party Monday criticised the governing Conservatives of having “over-promised and under delivered” on relations with India and declared that it is “ready to go” on striking a free trade agreement (FTA) if it wins the July 4 general election. Addressing the India Global Forum (IGF), the party’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy laid out his ambitions of the FTA being “a floor not a ceiling” of the partnership he aspires to with his “friend” external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
India and the UK have completed 13 rounds of FTA negotiations to enhance the estimated GB.1 billion a year trading relationship, with talks currently stalled amid the election cycles in both the countries.
“Many Diwalis have come and gone without a trade deal and too many businesses have been left waiting,” said Lammy, referring to the missed Diwali 2022 deadline set by former PM Boris Johnson for the FTA. “My message to [finance] minister (Nirmala) Sitharaman and (trade) minister (Piyush) Goyal is that Labour is ready to go. Let’s finally get our free trade deal done and move on,” he said, adding he will be in Delhi before the end of July if elected to govt on July 4.

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