Cameron set for Delhi trip to nip visa row

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    New Delhi Oct. 30: British Prime Minister David Cameron will assure India that the UK will not introduce any visa regime that could hurt bilateral trade ties on a brief visit on November 14 aimed at calming any irritants to stronger ties critical to the struggling economies of both nations.

    The visit will be Cameron’s second to India in nine months, and third overall as Prime Minister, without any reciprocal visit in this period by Manmohan Singh. Officials here are struggling to recall a precedent in ties with Britain, or any other major nation.

    But Cameron is keen to assuage concerns over a British proposal to demand a £3,000 bond from select visitors belonging to India and five other nations that industry chambers here have said will deter investment in the UK, senior British and Indian officials have told The Telegraph.

    The British Prime Minister, who will leave after his New Delhi stopover for Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting there starting on November 15, will likely meet Prime Minister Singh and may also make a public statement, officials said.

    He may expressly spell out how the visa bond proposal, even if implemented, will not target genuine Indian businessmen, workers and students when he meets Singh. Officials travelling with Cameron will explain the details to their counterparts, too.

    But his very visit, officials said, signals his belief that any misunderstanding with India must be cleared before it impacts bilateral ties or trade.

    Bilateral diplomatic visits by heads of state, heads of government and even foreign ministers normally work on the understanding of reciprocity. That unofficial arrangement between nations required that Singh visit the UK after Cameron’s visit here in February, before another Indian trip by the British Prime Minister.

    But Singh last visited the UK in 2009 for the G20 summit — before Cameron even came to power. The Indian Prime Minister last travelled to London for a bilateral meet in October 2006, after which then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited New Delhi in 2008. Cameron, who took over from Brown in 2010, made the first of his visits that same year.

    Cameron’s upcoming visit brings the tally to four visits by British Prime Ministers to India since a reciprocal trip.

    “That he (Cameron) is coming shows both a certain maturity and a realisation that if a trip helps British business interests and trade with India, it’s worth it, whatever traditional diplomatic propriety may say,” an official said.

    British home secretary Theresa May earlier this year announced new immigration-control plans including a proposal to demand visa bonds from visitors belonging to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. The proposal triggered allegations of racism, though Britain argued the countries were picked because they were identified as the source of a majority of those who illegally overstay in the UK.

    Ficci, Assocham and CII — the country’s three top industry chambers — all warned that the rules would hurt Indian investments in Britain.

    Leading universities in Britain also criticised the proposal, arguing it would dent their catchment of fee-paying Indian students crucial for the economic well-being of these institutions.

    But Cameron and his delegation will tell Indian leaders that under the latest tweak to the controversial proposal, the visa bond scheme will be applicable only to those who, under Britain’s current norms, would anyway be denied a visa.

    Those who are eligible for a visa under current norms will not be asked for a bond. Instead, those who would currently be denied a visa may be given an opportunity to still enter Britain — if they pay up the bond amount.

    For Cameron, clearing any lingering doubts over the UK’s visa bond plans is critical, because India is one of Britain’s fastest growing trade partners. The two nations today share bilateral trade of over £16 billion (Rs 160,000 crore), and have committed to raising that figure to £23 billion (Rs 230,000 crore) by 2015.

    After China, India is one of Britain’s biggest investment targets. Last year, the British BG Group had inked a pact with Gujarat to provide £20 billion (Rs 200,000 crore) worth liquid natural gas. In February, Cameron brought over representatives from over 100 British multinationals and smaller firms, looking to bolster their pitch for investment in India. And Britain continues to lobby for major Indian defence deals.

    These are the bonds that Cameron will try and emphasise when he lands in New Delhi.

    Cameron set for Delhi trip to nip visa row
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    News worth putting on ARRSE
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This just goes to show that India cannot be ignored, even when it is down in the dumps!
     
  5. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    i fully support UK decision to slap 3000 pounds visa bond on south Asians.


    UK has around 1 million illegal immigrants from Indian sub continent. they misuse the system and visa laws. they come on tourist visa and work and don''t go back. they come on student visa and leave study to work full time.


    i think people of Indian sub continent deserve visa bond
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Instead of visa tax, they should fix electronic tags so that none can escape into the hinterland and vanish! ;)
     
  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    electronic tags needs big investment and it can be removed within in few seconds. leaving immigration dept nowwhere.

    i feel bond money should be raised to 5000 pounds:scared1::scared1:
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    why should they go back ?

    infact they should produce a dozen kids there.
     
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