UK leadership change would not impact India-UK relations: MEA

India has said the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not impact its relations with the UK as the two countries share a close multi-faceted partnership, Trend reports quoting The Statesman.

“PM Modi and PM Johnson have enjoyed a very close friendship. The UK is an important strategic partner and we have shared a multi-faceted partnership and relationship, which India would like to continue as it is based on links at different levels between our two peoples as well as various verticals like us discussed it, as part of our partnership,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said Thursday. He said the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is an internal development that India is watching closely, but that relations between the two countries will not be affected by the change in the country’s leadership.

Further, responding to a question on the impact of Boris Johnson’s resignation on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries, Bagchi said the negotiations between India and the UK on the are continuing and India hopes to sign the agreement soon.

“There is a degree of optimism that it could be done soon. We speculate whether Boris Johnson’s resignation will impact the deal, but India hopes to build on the momentum of the ongoing talks,” he added.

He said there was no deadline to sign the agreement but India is looking forward to signing the agreement by Diwali this year. “We haven’t set a deadline, it’s a trade-driven process. But it would be great if it could be done on time,” Bagchi said in response to a question about India’s position. about meeting the deadline for Diwali to sign the agreement this year.

Meanwhile, following mass resignations by Cabinet members which began on Wednesday and Thursday, the number of resignations topped 50, forcing Boris Johnson to step down as Britain’s prime minister.

He expressed ‘regret’ at his inability to retain his post as prime minister while emphasizing that he is ‘tremendously proud’ of his achievements in office.

A total of 58 ministers left government following an ethics scandal that eventually forced the British prime minister to resign.

Johnson agreed to step down after one of his closest allies, Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi, told the prime minister to step down for the good of the country.
Notably, India and the UK announced their intention to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement during a virtual summit held in May 2021 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then British counterpart, Boris Johnson. . Formal negotiations on the free trade plan between the two countries began earlier this year.

A number of non-tariff barriers, such as rules on investor protection, intellectual property rights and harmonization of governance and standards, are among the main sticking points of the agreement. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that India and the UK aim to sign by then. Diwali this year.

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