India Wants Easier Access for Migrants as Part of Trade Deal with Britain

The mobility of Indian migrants and their ease of travel and work in UK is high on priority list for New Delhi, says Indian envoy.


As Brexit looms over the United Kingdom’s relationship with non-European Union countries, India’s high commissioner reiterated his earlier statements that Britain should be prepared to take in more Indian migrants as part of free trade deal between the two countries, Business Insider reported.

India would like to have the “best deal possible” with the United Kingdom, Yashvardhan Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner in London, told Politico, adding that it is, however, not high on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s list. “I don’t think India is in a rush. I think India would like certainly, and I’m sure the U.K. would too to get the best deal possible,” Sinha said to the publication.

“I think for us it is very important that if we need to step up our engagement we need to have that easier access, the ease of travel has to be looked into,” he added.

Earlier, in November, Sinha first brought up the issue of mobility of Indian migrants and their ease of travel and work in the United Kingdom as part of any free trade deal agreed between London and New Delhi. “You’ve all read about issues of freer mobility of professions,” he had said in an interview to The Telegraph. “That is something right up there as far as India is concerned. I’m not talking about unfettered access or unrestricted travel, I’m talking about movement of professionals, movement of doctors, technicians, engineers. I think both sides will benefit from this exchange.”

UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said that the Brexit will enable the country to sign prosperous trade deals with global economic powerhouses such as India, the United States and China. However, as the Theresa May government has committed to bringing net migration to the country down to below 100,000 and to “control national borders” as part of Brexit, any such deal would be a dangerous political territory for UK, the Business Insider report added.

Since the United Kingdom is still part of the European Union’s custom union, it cannot currently sign its own free trade deals and can only do so during the proposed transition period. The deals can only be implemented once the transition period is over.

Meanwhile, Modi is expected to have private meetings with Queen Elizabeth II and UK Prime Minister Theresa May during his upcoming trip to the country for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting from April 16 to 20, the Times of India reported.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *