Britain is trying to secure new free-trade deals to help make up for a significant decline in commerce with its biggest trading partner, the EU, since Brexit. The U.K. has already agreed deals with New Zealand and Australia, but their expected impact is forecast to be strongly overshadowed by the negative drag from weaker EU trade.
For the India talks, the total volume of trade at stake in a U.K.-India agreement is dwarfed by Britain’s commerce with the EU. In 2019, trade with India was equivalent to about 3% of the U.K.’s total trade with the EU.
“These negotiations could lead to better trading terms for U.K. exporters and a substantial increase in trade with India over the next decade,” said William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, in an e-mailed statement. “If agreement can be reached with India on tariff reduction, removing technical barriers to trade in goods and services, and on digital trade it has the best potential of any of the U.K.’s individual free trade negotiations to date.”