Britain’s visa restrictions for Indians might affect trade deal


Theresa_MayBritish Prime Minister Theresa May’s insistence might affect the trade deal with India following her refusal to improve visa restrictions for Indians, including students.

Diplomats and Indian government officials cautioned that the British PM’s refusal to tone down visa restrictions could ambush her hopes. In this regard, Boris Johnson flew to New Delhi to meet government officials, industrialists and hopefully, PM Narendra Modi.

Explaining Britain’s position after leaving the EU, he said, “Time is fast upon us when we need to charge this kinship with a new free trade deal. We can’t talk now, but we can sketch it out on the back of an envelope. This is a time to break down barriers between India and Britain, create jobs that offer hope and comfort… Let us work together.”

When the issue of visas came up S Irudaya Rajan, advisor to the Indian government on migration issues, said, “How can we separate free movement of goods, services and investments with free movement of people. They are intertwined.”

India’s high commissioner to the UK YK Sinha said the issue of visas cannot be wished away. Contrasting Britain with other countries, he said the other countries, apart from the UK, have admitted students and workers from fields such as IT into their countries.

According to available data, the numbers of Indian students dipped to 16,745 in 2015-16 from 29,900 in 2011-12. This decreasing numbers of students is one of the cosmetic ways the UK government is saying they are cutting the numbers of migrants.