Brexit: UK 'must focus trade on CPTPP regions' says Habib
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Statistics from Britain’s ports have shown that it took the UK and EU just a month from the end of transition and the new trade deal coming into effect to get back to normal with freight travelling between the two. This is despite Remainers seizing on a figure from early January suggesting that freight was down 68 per cent. However, the one problem remains Northern Ireland after a leaked letter from the European Commission to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove revealed that the EU is still demanding measures be brought in to isolate the province from the rest of the UK.
But, writing for the Sunday Express today following her trip to India to open negotiations on a new trade deal, international trade secretary Liz Truss has highlighted again that the future of Global Britain is outside the EU.
The latest data from ports shows that freight traffic on RoRo ferries was hit by French President Emmanuel Macron closing the border in December over a panic on the new variant of coronavirus discovered in Kent.
After he relented there was a steady increase in freight following the UK and EU ending the transition period and starting the new trade deal.
In January the total flow was 73 per cent of 2020 levels but this month it has been 98 per cent.
A government spokesman said that it is clear the Reasonable Worst Case Scenario originally planned for had been avoided.
He said: “The latest available data shows that overall freight flows between the UK and the EU are back to their normal levels. This has been possible thanks to the hard work put in traders and hauliers to prepare for the end of the transition period.
“Our focus now is on making sure that any business that is still facing challenges gets the support they need to trade effectively with the EU, and that all businesses benefit from the new free trade agreements we are striking around the world.”
However, following the disastrous attempt by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to close the Irish/ Northern Irish border and block vaccines coming to the UK, the European Commission has again demanded thatUlster is further isolated from the UK.
In a five page letter commission vice president Maros Sefcovi said: “The border control posts (BCPs) and entry posts are not yet fully operational. Official controls at the BCPsd are currently not performed in compliance with the Withdrawal Agreement protocol and EU rules: very few checks.”
He also demanded the UK pays for an upgrade in IT on the border and to provide security for EU officials at the border.
The letter has increased demands that Boris Johnson scraps the Northern Ireland protocol.
North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said: “The Sefcovic letter shows that the EU’s professed concern for Northern Ireland during the negotiations of the future relationship was a complete fraud.”
Meanwhile, writing for the Sunday Express, Ms Truss has said that the India/UK trade deal will build on the £23 billion a year already traded between the two.
She said: “There are few markets around the world that offer greater potential than India. This huge market of 1.4 billion people is already emerging as the world’s fastest-growing major economy and is expected to become the second biggest in the world by 2050, making it a crucial long-term trading partner.”
Meanwhile, analysts believe that India will replace China as a major trading partner for the UK.
“We’re already seeing a lot of global investors who are looking to move out of China and into other parts of Asia. Many are looking for new manufacturing bases and India in one of their key destinations,” said Nayan Gala, Founding Partner at venture capitalist firm JPIN Venture Catalysts Ltd.
The company, which has offices in both the UK and India, has already founded the Oyo hotel and homes chain, one of the world’s handful of so-called decacorn because it is worth more than £10 billion.
And it aims to plough hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into Britain, targeting start-up firms.
“We have a £16bn investment fund in India which we are looking to replicate here,” he said.
“We’ve already invested £1m into the Fitech company CreditEnable.
“When you look at the world’s biggest companies now, they’re not the Shells or BPs, they’re the Amazons and Facebooks – companies that were start-ups just 20 years ago.
“China has now overtaken the US in the number of unicorns – firms worth more than £100bn. But India has the third largest number of these startups. That’s where the global shift is going.
“And while in the past Indian start ups may have gone to the US to expand, now they are going to the UK where we not only have a common language but a shared history, too. India represents the largest diaspora here. The Hinduja brothers and the Mittal family are both in the top five of the UK’s wealthiest billionaires.”
He said the UK’s shift away from China has played a large role.
“There has always been an affinity to connect the countries as much as possible but five years ago activity wasn’t there. Now there’s so much engagement.
“The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is putting a lot of effort into the UK – much more than any other country.
“We’re talking about IT areas like Fintech, Health tech and Insurance Tech, for instance.
“In India more than 200 million people are unbanked. The UK has led the way with digital banks.”
He said Indian minister of trade Piyush Goyal’s “Designed in UK, Made in India“ concept would help UK firms expand globally.
“The UK gives a lot of government grants for Research and Development which India doesn’t enjoy. This means capital being invited into important scientific and technical innovations.
“But a cancer microchip would need mass production and the UK may not be able to do this.
“When it comes to scaling something like this, India would be well placed.“
Another field was Electric Vehicles. “EV is big. The UK is way ahead in terms of Research and Development but India is one of the biggest markets.”
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