Can India replace the EU?
TRANSCRIPT (Captions available in video):
(Dinesh Dhamija) We the UK do 50% of our trade with Europe and another 15% through Europe on the trade deals they’ve done with 60-odd countries. So it’s a total of 65% that we do with and through Europe. As far as the Commonwealth is concerned we do 10% with the Commonwealth of which India is 2%. We’re giving up 65% by leaving Europe and starting with the 10% we have with the Commonwealth and 2% with India. So, if India trade in the next 3 years goes from 2 to 4%, everyone’s going to say “we went up 100% with India” but actually it’s only 4%. Our businesses are going to suffer badly without trade deals. As you know trade deals take 7 to 9 years let’s say, of time, on average. Even the WTO will take at least 6 years. What are businesses going to do this long after leaving Europe? There’s something called Trade Distance Gravity which means the further you are, the less you trade. For example, Canada trade 60% with the US and only 10% with the EU because of the distance. So our trade with India or Australia is going to be far less because of the distance we have. India is as big an economy as the UK, it’s 3 trillion dollars each but, the Indian economy is growing much faster. I’m sure there are lots and lots of services and goods that can be exchanged but, India is protecting some of its industries so there cannot be a free trade agreement. If it is, it’s going to take ages. As I suggested earlier around 8 years. So, quick wins could be: India reduces their duty on Scotch whisky and cars and the UK gives visas to Indian software designers. India’s negotiations for a trade deal with Europe have already taken 11 years. And actually the biggest impediment has been the UK. So it’s an irony that India will do an immediate trade deal with Europe when Britain leaves the EU. Why would Indian companies want to go to Europe versus us? I mean, we’ve got these cultural links, everyone speaks English, you know. Well, there are 444 million people in the EU and there are only 64 million people here. So the low hanging fruit, the wins from 444 million are much greater and much easier than 64 [million]. And that’s why people want a larger market first and then they can come to the UK.