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UK-India trade negotiation inquiry launched by Lords Committee

28 January 2022

Background 

The Government has announced the start of the negotiations on a trade deal with India, with the first negotiating round taking place on 17 January. In due course, we plan to produce a report on the UK Government’s published Negotiating Objectives. For this report, we will be particularly reliant on written evidence. 

This inquiry 

The Committee is considering all aspects of the negotiations, but is particularly interested to hear whether the Negotiating Objectives are ambitious enough; how an agreement might affect consumers and businesses; and the likely economic, social, environmental and other impacts.  

Interested organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the inquiry by 11:59 PM on Sunday 27 February. Please submit your written evidence using the online form. This also includes further guidance on the submission process.  

Questions the committee is inviting evidence on include: 

What are the potential benefits for the UK of an FTA with India, and what are the potential downsides?   

  • In what ways may the UK or specific sectors (e.g. education and research) benefit from relaxed visa rules for Indian citizens? Might India’s demands for relaxed visa rules go beyond what would benefit the UK economy?    
  • How might an FTA with India impact the UK’s devolved nations and English regions, and how could their interests be best protected?   
  • How do you evaluate the Government’s Negotiating Objectives and initial economic scoping assessment included in the Government’s strategic approach?   
  • What should UK negotiators be aiming for on tariffs, rules of origin, services, digital trade, intellectual property, mutual recognition and mobility? 
  • What protections should be sought for consumers, as well as the environment, climate and on human rights? 
  • What risks could a trade agreement with India pose to the UK’s food safety standards, animal and plant health or animal welfare standards? 

Baroness Hayter, Chair of the International Agreements Committee said:

“India is already one of the UK’s largest trading partners and a growing economy. As such, a trade deal has the potential to deliver significant gains, though there may also be downsides.

“Negotiations with India started on 17 January and future negotiating rounds are expected to take place approximately every five weeks. We will be scrutinising the negotiations, the Government’s Negotiating Objectives, as well as the final content of the agreement.

“In due course, we plan to produce a report on the Government’s published Negotiating Objectives. While we may hold a small number of oral evidence sessions, we will be particularly reliant on written evidence for this report. This call for evidence is open to anyone with an interest in the negotiations and we welcome a wide range of views to ensure that the best possible agreement is secured for our economy and our future.”

Further information