After the UK has now taken its position on the free trade agreement with India, the question has rightly been raised in India why such an agreement should be made at all? It is clear from Britain’s position that with this agreement it only wants to facilitate access to the Indian market for its products. Although India’s expectation was that after this agreement it will be easier for Indian citizens to go to Britain for education or work. But in an interview, British International Trade Minister Kim Badenoch made it clear that Britain has no intention of giving India such a facility. He said Britain seceded from the European Union because it wanted to stop the free movement of people. Therefore, this facility cannot be given to India now. He also clarified that such a provision in the Free Trade Agreement with Australia cannot be replicated in the Agreement with India.
Badenoch had come to India last month and had talks with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal about the free trade agreement. It is clear that after the conversation had progressed no further, on his return to London he gave an interview to a newspaper and made the state of Britain public. So now the question is, if Britain is unwilling to make concessions on this point, why should there be a free trade deal with the country? Last year, trade with Britain amounted to $17.5 billion. That is, it is a medium-level trading partner of India. Therefore, India will not gain much by exempting it from import duties. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had set a goal of signing a free trade deal with Diwali last year. That deadline has already passed. This has obviously happened because the interests of both countries are not aligned in such an agreement. While Badenoch has said the deal will close this year, does India have any reason to be so hopeful now?