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UK trade deals ‘unaffected’ by China and India’s stance on Ukraine
The UK will not consider India and China’s failure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in pursuing post-Brexit trade deals with those countries, the International Trade Secretary has said.
Quizzed about whether India’s neutrality over the conflict has become a negotiating issue in trade talks, Anne-Marie Trevelyan told MPs: “Trade deals aren’t the tool for, sort of, if you like, the broader diplomatic agreement discussion.
“Those continuing discussions around areas of policy difference, whatever they might be, will continue, but all we will continue to do is to encourage everybody to think about how their relationship either with Russia or indeed with Ukraine can be enhanced or reduced in order to bring this war to an end as quickly as we can”.
She said negotiations with India are in “relatively early stages”, and that representatives from the Department for International Trade are in the country this week.
“They have a very clear mandate to continue discussing the broad range of trade issues that we want to see in a trade deal with India,” Ms Trevelyan told the International Trade Committee.
Boris Johnson told negotiators to get a free trade agreement done by Diwali, in October, as he celebrated a “massive push” during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi last week.