EU hopes Brexit will help deliver an India trade deal

The EU is betting that Brexit will make a trade deal with India a little easier.

Chief negotiators from the EU and India will meet in Brussels on Thursday in an attempt to revive talks that stalled five years ago.

No one reckons that it will be easy for the European Commission to revive dialogue with the fast-growing economy of 1.3 billion people. India has long proved to be one of the toughest nuts to crack in global trade, particularly because of its highly defensive positions on domestic champions ranging from cotton farming to generic medicines.

While most of the challenges of dealing with India look set to be long-term headaches, European officials believe that Brexit will at least remove two traditional hurdles. First, Britain always wanted India to drop its sky-high tariffs on Scotch whisky. Second, Britain was deeply concerned that a more liberal visa regime — one of New Delhis priorities — would bring a wave of Indian workers primarily to the U.K.

“Most Indian companies used to go to Britain as their point of entry into Europe” — Sunil Prasad, secretary-general of the Europe-India Chamber of Commerce

“Its certainly not going to be easy if you think of tariffs for cars and dairy products, for example. But I see much more room for compromises now,” said Sunil Prasad, secretary-general of the Europe-India Chamber of Commerce in Brussels.

He stressed that Brexit has created a sense of urgency in New Delhi that talks with the EU should be revived, primarily because Indian companies had traditionally focused on the U.K. as a launchpad into the single market.

“Most Indian companies used to go to Britain as their point of entry into Europe,” said Prasad. “It appeared the obvious choice because of historical ties and the language. But with the U.K. leaving, they now look to Germany, to France, to Belgium. And they hope for a trade deal to facilitate investment and trade flows.”

The prospect of Brussels leading the charge for a trade deal with New Delhi is galling for Brexiteers, who have long argued that Britains former colonies would be its most natural trade partners after the U.K. leaves the EU.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May made an early charm offensive to India a few months after the Brexit referendum in 2016 — but quickly realized that New Delhi was attaching more priority to Brussels, and that there was still little room for a breakthrough on the vexed issue of immigration.

“I dont think India is in a rush” to sign a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain, Indian High Commissioner to the U.K. Yashvardhan Sinha recently told POLITICO, adding that “for us it is very important that if we need to step up our engagement … the ease of travel has to be looked into.”

Franco-German push

In the meantime, Berlin and Paris have doubled down in courting Indian business. French President Emmanuel Macron visited the country in early March to ink €13 billion in investment deals. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier followed two weeks later with a similar message: As Britain leaves the EU, its time to strengthen business ties with the other leading economies in the bloc.

“Together with our French partners, we can become Indias new strategic anchor on the European Continent and in the European single market,” Steinmeier said in a speech at the University of Delhi.

For EU countries, the prospect of revived trade talks is not only about attracting foreign business but also about opening up the Indian economy — which has grown at an average of 7 percent in recent years — to European exports.

“India is a promising market for machine builders from Germany and other EU countries because they have the technology and skills that India needs to develop further,” said Atul Sharma, a trade lawyer at Seetharaman & Associates in New Delhi.

“There is a very clear logic for the EU and India to engage intensively in the coming months,” Indias EU Ambassador Gaitri Issar Kumar told the European Parliament in January. She added that the deal, if done right, would be “a win-win situation” for both sides, and that “our prime minister is determined” to come to a swift conclusion of talks.

In Mumbai, Indian television reacts to Brexit in June 2016 | Divyakant Solanki/EPA

To avoid running into the same stalemate as before, Brussels and New Delhi have resorted to a classic trick in trade negotiations: reducing the scope of talks.

“Basically the chief negotiators plan to agree [during their Thursday meeting] which are the areas where we can agree, and which are the points we should better leave aside,” said a senior EU official.

Trade lawyer Sharma agreed that both sides “have no other option but to be less ambitious.” While Brexit was making the talks “without doubt much easier,” he said that there were still difficulties on issues such as drug patents, tariffs for second-hand cars, agriculture, services and rules of origin.

Investment woes

Christofer Fjellner, the European Parliaments shadow rapporteur on the India deal, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the prospect of the EU-India trade talks, and noted that attempts to relaunch them in years prior had repeatedly failed. “Weve been here before,” said Fjellner.

One big stumbling block, he said, was the different approaches to investment protection: Although India is the worlds largest democracy, foreign investors insist that they need a special arbitration system. Regular Indian courts, they say, often work with little transparency and “shocking delays.”

“There are definitely challenges ahead” — Helena König, EUs chief negotiator

“Its very important in a country like India to have a credible investment protection,” said Fjellner, adding that the topic had received additional urgency after India decided to cancel more than 20 bilateral investment protection treaties with individual EU countries in 2016.

New Delhi, in contrast, argues that investors should only be able to appeal to an arbitration tribunal after they had previously sought to settle the issue in an ordinary court. Adding to the controversy, India demands that tax rulings should not fall under the jurisdiction of investment protection — although European investors have complained that taxes are a classic issue where they fear discrimination toward domestic producers.

Speaking to EU lawmakers in January, the EUs chief negotiator Helena König did not hide that this will be a difficult item: “There are definitely challenges ahead,” she said.

Related Articles


  1. I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  2. I am no longer sure the place you’re getting your info, however good topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or understanding more. Thank you for excellent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  3. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. That is a very smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  4. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  5. Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  6. Hey, you used to write excellent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring?K I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

  7. In this grand pattern of things you secure an A for hard work. Where exactly you lost us was on your specifics. You know, as the maxim goes, the devil is in the details… And that could not be much more true in this article. Having said that, let me inform you exactly what did work. Your writing is actually pretty persuasive and this is most likely why I am making the effort in order to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, whilst I can easily see a jumps in reasoning you make, I am definitely not convinced of how you appear to unite your details that make the actual final result. For the moment I shall subscribe to your issue but trust in the foreseeable future you actually connect your dots better.

  8. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually something which I feel I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look forward for your next post, I will attempt to get the dangle of it!

  9. There are some interesting cut-off dates in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There may be some validity but I’ll take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

  10. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  11. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page yet again.

  12. What i do not understood is actually how you are no longer really a lot more smartly-liked than you might be now. You are so intelligent. You know therefore significantly when it comes to this subject, produced me personally imagine it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t involved except it¦s one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. At all times maintain it up!

  13. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s beautiful worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content material as you did, the internet might be much more helpful than ever before.|

  14. I think this is among the most important info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  15. There are actually lots of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a nice level to convey up. I offer the ideas above as basic inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you deliver up where the most important factor can be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round things like that, however I am positive that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Both girls and boys really feel the impression of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  16. Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  17. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and reporting! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  18. I don’t even know how I finished up right here, but I thought this submit was once good. I don’t realize who you’re but definitely you are going to a well-known blogger if you happen to aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  19. hi!,I love your writing so much! proportion we be in contact extra about your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this space to solve my problem. Maybe that is you! Looking forward to look you.

  20. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What a great website.

  21. Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  22. I discovered your weblog web site on google and check just a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Seeking ahead to reading extra from you afterward!…

  23. A lot of thanks for your entire efforts on this web page. Gloria enjoys going through research and it is obvious why. Most people hear all concerning the powerful way you create worthwhile tips and tricks through your blog and therefore attract participation from some other people on this situation so our daughter is in fact studying a whole lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You’re performing a first class job.

  24. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  25. Usually I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

  26. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Thanks , I have just been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

  28. I’d should examine with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a publish that can make folks think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!

  29. Great awesome things here. I?¦m very happy to see your post. Thanks so much and i’m taking a look ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  30. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! “Feeling passionate about something is like getting a peak at your soul smiling back at you.” by Amanda Medinger.

  31. Thank you, I have recently been searching for info approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I have came upon so far. However, what about the bottom line? Are you certain concerning the source?

  32. You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually something that I think I might never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward in your next put up, I?¦ll try to get the grasp of it!

  33. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. However think about if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the very best in its field. Good blog!

  34. Merci pour les beaux article . Je arrivé recherche ce chose pour un jour . Les objets et détails que vous montrez , je n’étais pas au courant . Je serai suivant votre site Web maintenant et idéalement vous pouvez beaucoup plus vues et idées.

  35. I have read several just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you place to make one of these wonderful informative web site.

  36. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Great work!

  37. Grüße! Ich weiß, dass dies irgendwie nicht zum Thema gehört, aber ich habe mich gefragt, welche Blog-Plattform Sie für diese Site verwenden? Ich werde WordPress leid und satt, weil ich Probleme mit Hackern hatte und nach Alternativen für eine andere Plattform suche. Ich wäre fantastisch, wenn Sie mich auf eine gute Plattform hinweisen könnten.

  38. This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  39. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  40. Good post. I learn something more difficult on completely different blogs everyday. It’s going to at all times be stimulating to read content material from different writers and follow somewhat something from their store. I’d favor to use some with the content on my weblog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  41. You really make it appear so easy together with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually something which I believe I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely vast for me. I’m having a look ahead for your subsequent post, I’ll attempt to get the dangle of it!

  42. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i am satisfied to express that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most no doubt will make sure to do not omit this site and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

  43. Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you simply can do with a few to drive the message home a little bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  44. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  45. I found your weblog site on google and examine a number of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the superb operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Searching for forward to studying more from you in a while!…

  46. Ich habe diese Informationen nur für einige Zeit gesucht. Nach 6 Stunden ununterbrochenem Googlen habe ich es endlich auf Ihrer website gefunden. Ich frage mich, was das Fehlen einer Google-Strategie ist, die diese Art von informativen Websites ganz oben auf der Liste nicht platziert. Normalerweise sind die obersten Websites voller Müll.

Leave a Reply to viber hackers Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button