What will be the future of India-UK FTA, Keir Starmer clarified his stand

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India and the UK have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) for over two years with the Conservative Party-led government in power but the talks had stalled in the 14th round amid the general election cycle in both countries.

Britain’s newly elected Prime Minister Keir Starmer spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday morning and said he is ready to conclude a free trade deal that will work for both sides, Downing Street said. India and the UK have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) for over two years with the Conservative Party-led government in power but talks had stalled in the 14th round amid the general election cycle in both countries. They are expected to be taken up by the new Labour government led by Starmer, which was voted in with a massive majority this week.

According to the Downing Street readout of the UK Prime Minister’s newly elected international calls related to the Indo-Pacific on Saturday, the call appears to have been the first with Modi after Japan and Australia. Discussing the free trade agreement, the Prime Minister said he was open to reaching a deal that would work for both sides. The leaders are expected to meet as soon as possible. The two sides have been working towards reaching an agreement to extend the GBP 38.1 billion bilateral trade partnership since January 2022, when Boris Johnson was the British Prime Minister. The UK has grappled with political turmoil that led to the short-lived prime ministership of first Liz Truss, followed by Rishi Sunak, who became Britain’s first Indian Prime Minister.

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