The prime minister said the government is “not there yet” as talks between the countries’ trade negotiators continues.
Speaking after landing in New Delhi for the G20 summit of the world’s richest nations, Sunak said: “India is going to be one of the most important countries of the coming years and decades and it’s vital that the UK has a close relationship with India - particularly a close economic relationship.
″But when it comes to trade deals, I always said that it would be good to have an ambitious and comprehensive deal with India for al those reasons, but we can’t rush it and I won’t rush it.
“I’ve always said I want to take the time to get trade deals right so that they work for the British people, they work for the UK, and lots of progress has been made on this one but we’re not there yet so we’ve got to keep going.”
But people were quick to point out that his comments are in stark contrast to Johnson’s prediction in April 2022 that the trade deal would be “done by Diwali” in October that year.
He said: “We’re using our Brexit freedoms to reach a bilateral free trade agreement and today [Indian] prime minister Modi and I told our negotiators to get it done by Diwali in October.”
One user of X, formerly Twitter, said: “Ah he didn’t infer which Diwali.”
And another added: “But which year?”