India trade deal on brink of being signed as anti-Brexit 'voices of doom' proven wrong

Kemi Badenoch

Kemi Badenoch, the Business and Trade Secretary, said "global Britain is here and it’s thriving.”

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 23/08/2023

- 08:20

Updated: 23/08/2023

- 09:23

Kemi Badenoch goes to India today to finalise a deal ahead of Rishi Sunak's attendance at the G20 summit next month

A multi-million-pound trade deal with India is close to being signed, Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has said, as she claimed anti-Brexit “voices of doom” were being silenced.

Badenoch has hit back at sceptics who thought the deal would never go ahead, insisting that “global Britain is thriving”.

UK trade talks with India are reaching their final stages and the Saffron Walden MP heads to India today for a meeting of G20 trade ministers.

Badenoch criticised naysayers of the deal, telling the Daily Express: “Those voices of doom have been proved decisively wrong. Far from turning their backs on the UK, companies are queuing up to invest here. The UK is on the up and remains a country others want to deal with. Global Britain is here and it’s thriving.”

Rishi Sunak at the G20 summit last year

Rishi will meet with the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi next month


Her visit comes before Rishi Sunak’s trip to the meet Indian prime minister Narendra Modi next month at the G20 summit.

The Trade Secretary will arrive in Jaipur today to meet with G20 ministers to finalise a deal ahead of Sunak’s visit in September.

She has insisted that the Government would “only sign when we have a deal that is fair, balanced, and ultimately in the best interests of the British people and the economy”.

Following Brexit, a trade deal with India has been a key target for the Government.

Boris Johnson initially said the deal would be secured by Diwali 2022, but progress on the agreement stalled last year.

If struck, the deal would bring down tariffs on UK exports including cars and whiskey, which currently suffer from high import taxes in India.

This would allow for these products to have a much higher price tag, making them less competitive.

The G20 summit is seen as a golden chance to strengthen the UK’s post-Brexit position.

The Government is shifting its attention away from Europe and to the Indo-Pacific region, with the area expected to account for 50 per cent of global expansion by 2035.

William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the deal would be a "big win" for British businesses - specifically UK travel, business or financial services.

"Up to 80 per cent of the UK economy is services-based," he said.

Rishi Sunal

The G20 summit is a pivotal chance to strengthen the UK’s post-Brexit position.


Labour has slammed the Government's post-Brexit plans, labelling them as "uncertain" and demanding clarity for what new trade changes will mean for businesses.

Shadow international trade minister Gareth Thomas said: "The Government’s handling of this important issue has been absolutely shambolic. They have delayed new border checks time and again, creating huge uncertainty for businesses, who are already struggling as a result of Conservative economic mismanagement.

“With the deadlines for new checks just months away, it is unacceptable that businesses have not received a clear update from the Government on whether the new border arrangements are even going to be introduced. The Tories’ trade barriers are stunting economic growth."

Badenoch’s visit comes just after Tata, a car manufacturer that builds Jaguar Land Rovers, announced plans to build a £3.7billion electric car battery factory in Somerset.

Britain has also recently entered the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, a group valued at £12trillion.

A membership automatically gives the UK access to a market of 500 million people.

Other member countries include Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan and Singapore, and the UK will no longer have to pay expensive tariff fees when trading with these countries.

You may like