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Trade ‘memorandum’ signed in Indiana as hopes of post-Brexit deal with US fade Business News

Britain signs its first trade ‘memorandum’ with Indiana, suggesting that a post-Brexit deal with the whole of the United States is out of reach.

Ministers hail the rapprochement with the 17th largest state by population as “a major milestone” from which businesses will “start to reap the rewards”.

Talks are underway with about 20 other states and the Department of International Trade expects about eight “memorandums of understanding” to be concluded soon.

However, the announcement did not include any concrete changes that would flow from the early results of what the department calls its “state-level strategy.”

It would “seek to improve procurement processes and strengthen academic and research ties” and “support our talented professionals with diversity provisions,” the department said.

The memorandum “would pave the way for the recognition of professional qualifications”, according to a press release.

The new strategy is being pursued after Joe Biden made it clear that a US-UK free trade deal was not on the table, even before the latest crisis over London’s plans to tear apart the Northern Ireland protocol.

It was promised as a major Brexit prize, with campaigners lashing out at Barack Obama when he warned – in 2016 – that a deal would take a decade to complete.

Meanwhile, the UK is losing 3.5% of its GDP as it leaves the EU’s single market and customs union, the Bank of England warned this month.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Commerce Secretary, said: “Our ambitious agreement with Indiana will help bring value to UK businesses and support our areas of common interest, such as upgrading.

“This is Global Britain in action, making innovative deals on the world stage – and helping UK businesses grow faster, innovate more and support jobs and economic growth.”

But energy company bp America was more cautious in its description of what it called “the strengthening relationship between the UK and Indiana”.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour’s shadow trade secretary, said the government was on track for “another broken promise”, having promised a US trade deal by the end of 2022.

“Ministers should also be honest with exporters – and the British public – that state-level deals do not replace the promised US-UK trade deal. “

Naomi Smith, chief executive of internationalist campaign group Best for Britain, called it “a small consolation prize for Brexiter’s most storied US trade deal, which is now frozen indefinitely”.

And Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat trade spokeswoman, said: ‘Boris Johnson can’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes – being left to negotiate with one state at a time with his tail between his legs.’

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Source: www.independent.co.uk
This notice was published: 2022-05-26 23:10:57

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