Indo-UK-European Ties

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by SANITY, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    Brexit an opportunity for UK to build on India ties: Kumar

    Britain and India should work on a mutually reinforcing preferential bilateral trade and investment agreement post-Brexit, a senior Indian leader said today.

    Delivering a lecture on the theme of 'India-UKEngagement: A Partnership for the Future' at the University of Birmingham, former law minister Ashwani Kumar called for an "evolving, maturing and a mutually reinforcing" UK-India relationship to tackle the challenges of future.

    "Brexit is indeed a compelling circumstance for Britain to build upon its special relationship with India and to begin work on a mutually reinforcing preferential bilateral trade and investment agreement for the future," Kumar said.

    "As one of the highest ranked destinations for the ease of doing business, UK continues to inspire confidence as an investment destination. The lure of London as the preferred centre for finance, shipping and insurance, and the lowering of corporate tax and interest rates in Britain are expected to blunt the negative impact of the vote on India-UK economic engagement," he added.

    He underlined the post-Brexit depreciation of the pound as an expected spur for Indian investments in the UK and British businesses opening up to the increased possibilities for major investments in the Indian defence, security and nuclear energy sectors.

    Kumar, who is in the UK as part of a worldwide lecture tour including Johns Hopkins University in the US, also drew on history to build his case for a stronger modern-day India-UK partnership.

    "While our experience as a colony of an imperial power with its attendant inequities is a foot print of history and cannot be washed away, the future of the UK-India relationship cannot be held hostage to debilitating memories nor can 'history's arrears' be created anew," he noted.

    He said the two nations are destined to build upon a shared and indivisible commitment to democracy, equality, inclusion, liberalism and all that promotes the greatest happiness of the largest number in larger freedom.

    He said the challenges of the 21st century which confront humanity as a whole require a united response.

    "In an interdependent world that does not permit nations to remain as islands insulated from events beyond their borders, the challenge is to nurture a global perspective without having our national and cultural identities subsumed in a shrinking world," he added.
     
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  3. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    UK county signs MoU for quality healthcare in India
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    The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council signed the MoU with Indo UK Healthcare Pvt Ltd.

    The county of Northumberland in north England – known for quality and integrated healthcare – has signed a memorandum of understanding to share expertise as part of the Indo-UK Health Programme linked to the Narendra Modi government’s Smart City project.

    The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council signed the MoU with Indo UK Healthcare Pvt Ltd (IUHP), officials announced here on Tuesday.

    The area is reputed to provide some of the best and fully integrated services in Britain’s National Health Service. The model creates a seamless experience for patients by integrating acute hospitals (including emergency services), community services and care delivered at home.

    “This is an important milestone in our vision to transform the health of millions of Indian citizens. Northumbria provides outstanding high-quality integrated health and social care for its residents,” Ajay Rajan Gupta of IUHP said.

    “This is exactly the experience we need to take forward our own plans. We want to take the very best that the NHS has to offer across to India and there is no doubt Northumbria is the best at what it does.”

    The Indo-UK Institute of Health programme is considered one of the world’s largest healthcare initiatives. It aims to transform the provision of quality healthcare and medical education services across India.

    The programme will deliver a staged rollout linked to the Smart City project across 100 cities and involve the setting up of 11 Indo-UK Institutes of Health Medicities along with 89 Indo-UK Clinics.

    Daljit Lally of the Northumberland County Council said: “India has one of the largest populations in the world so the pressures on its healthcare system are enormous. Whilst our primary goal is to share how we have developed such a pioneering approach to delivering integrated care in Northumberland, I have no doubt that we will also learn a great deal which will benefit the NHS.”
     
  4. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    The EU's failed negotiations with India show why post-Brexit trade deals will be nearly impossible

    There are no "sunny uplands" to Brexit, and the UK should look to the EU's failed negotiations with India as an example of how incredibly difficult it is going to be to negotiate trade deals with countries around the world once the formal Brexit process has begun, says a British former senior banker and diplomat.

    Speaking at length during the Brexit & Global Expansion Summit in London on Monday, Sir Thomas Harris — once the British ambassador to Korea, and former vice chairman of emerging markets-focused bank Standard Chartered — told an audience of business leaders and a handful of journalists that it is "wishful thinking" to believe that the UK will be able to offset the negative economic impact of leaving the European single market by negotiating its own trade deals.

    Here is what Harris said:

    "There are no sunny uplands on which the UK can escape from the economic consequences of a hard Brexit, by looking to other markets for offsetting benefits.

    "Of course bilateral deals will eventually be struck, but we should be under no illusions about how long that will take, or the extent to which those agreements will be able to substitute for access to the EU."

    With the prospect of a "hard Brexit" seemingly growing day-by-day, it looks increasingly likely that Britain will need to negotiate numerous trade deals with countries around the world, but Harris believes this will be an incredibly difficult proposition.

    During his appearance, Harris used the example of the EU's attempts to strike a trade deal with India to show just how hard each individual trade deal will be, saying:

    "Some Brexiteers suggest that we can do deals with major Commonwealth countries like India. What they fail to understand is that the EU has been in negotiations with India for the last eight years, and has failed to conclude a deal.

    And what were the sticking points in those negotiations?
    "The sticking points were over trade in services — in accountancy, banking, insurance, and legal services — where the UK was the primary EU demandeur. The Indians were not prepared to table a serious offer on trade in services.


    "For the life of me, I cannot see why the Indians would be prepared to offer concessions in services in bilateral talks [with the UK] which they were not prepared to offer in return for access to the EU as a whole."

    Harris' basic argument is that if it takes a team of specially trained EU negotiators eight years to essentially make no progress with India, what hope does the UK — which has reportedly been struggling to recruit trade negotiation specialists, because there is a widely-shared consensus that Theresa May's government is a shambles — have.

    Harris, who is currently a director of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange, a London-based organisation that promotes international trade, also argued that there is a fundamental disconnect between the anti-immigration stance of many Brexiteers, and their desire for free trade deals, given that the movement of people is often a key component in trade agreements.

    Here is Harris one last time, once again citing the example of India:

    "Moreover, what’s the single biggest Indian demand for their trade deals? The single biggest demand is reciprocal access in the EU markets for a very significantly enhanced Mode 4 arrangement. That is for greater access for skilled and technical staff from India.

    "Given the anti-immigration stance of the Brexit supporters, it is difficult to see how they will meet these Indian demands, to increase immigration into the UK."
     
  5. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    The power balance has shifted between Britain and India

    Theresa May’s India visit will boost economic, commercial ties: Envoy


    Prime Minister Theresa May's India visit next month will give a fillip to bilateral economic and commercial ties, a top Indian diplomat here has said and asserted that New Delhi is keen on working with the UK to ensure that the positive effects of Brexit...
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    Theresa May is scheduled to arrive in India on November 6 for a three-day visit, which will include a bilateral dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Reuters)
    __________________________________________________________________________________


    Prime Minister Theresa May’s India visit next month will give a fillip to bilateral economic and commercial ties, a top Indian diplomat here has said and asserted that New Delhi is keen on working with the UK to ensure that the positive effects of Brexit are enhanced.

    May is scheduled to arrive in India on November 6 for a three-day visit, which will include a bilateral dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    “The forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Theresa May to India, following the highly successful visit (to the UK) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, will give a fillip to economic and commercial relations between both countries,” India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik said.

    “India-UK economic relations are strong and vibrant, but there still remains considerable potential that needs to be tapped. India is keen to work with UK to ensure that the positive effects of Brexit are enhanced and negative effects are minimised,” he said.

    The envoy made the remarks while addressing a session on ‘Going Global: Doing Business in India’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the Brexit and Global Expansion Summit and UK India Business Council (UKIBC) in Greenwich yesterday.

    The details of May’s first visit to India as Prime Minister are still being finalised, with Bengaluru expected as the second city besides New Delhi she is likely to visit.

    In the Indian capital, she will inaugurate the India-UK TECH Summit along with Modi.

    The two leaders are expected to hold their bilateral talks over a working lunch on November 7.

    May will be accompanied by her international trade minister, Liam Fox, who will be attending the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

    The UK delegation will also include representatives of small and medium businesses from regions across the UK and a number of commercial deals are expected to be signed during the visit.

    According to official sources, India will be keen to cover a range of issues including discussions on a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UK after Britain officially leaves the European Union (EU) and a more nuanced approach from the UK on cross-border terrorism.
     
  6. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    24 years on, UK extradites first in list of India’s most wanted

    One flight taking off from Heathrow for New Delhi made history on Tuesday: it carried for the first time a person India wanted from Britain since the two countries signed an extradition treaty on September 22, 1992.


    For 24 years, Indian security agencies have been frustrated at not being able to secure extradition or deportation of individuals from Britain on various grounds. Tuesday’s extradition of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel in a 2002 Gujarat riots-related case does not reflect a change of approach in London.

    Unlike other individuals wanted by India, Patel, 40, did not oppose the extradition, but “consented” to it, thus cutting short the long process. He was arrested on August 9 and on September 22, home secretary Amber Rudd signed the extradition order.

    The reasons for his “consent” to be extradited to India were not known, but Indian circles are delighted at the first successful extradition from Britain since then home minister SB Chavan and his British counterpart Ken Clarke signed the treaty.

    A team of Gujarat Police arrived here last week to escort Patel to India to face trial in a case of rioting at Ode village in Anand district of Gujarat on March 1, 2002, in which 23 people were reportedly killed.

    Patel was arrested after the riots in India, but jumped bail and made his way to the London suburb of Hounslow, where Scotland Yard arrested him.

    Unlike Patel, who “consented” to the extradition, Tiger Hanif, wanted in India in connection with the 1993 blasts in Surat, has consistently opposed extradition.

    Hanif, an aide of mob boss Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in March 2010 but lost all legal avenues to avoid it.

    One of his pleas to prevent extradition – that he would be tortured in Indian jails – was overruled by the judge in the Westminster Magistrates Court in May 2012. The court sent a team to Gujarat to examine jail conditions and to assess the validity of Hanif’s plea, but the judge dismissed it and called him a “classic fugitive”.

    Hanif, whose full name is Mohammed Umarji Patel, made a final appeal to then home secretary Theresa May soon after the court judgement in May 2012.

    A Home Office spokesperson confirmed to Hindustan Times last week there has been “no update” on Hanif’s final appeal with the home secretary. Since the appeal was made, the Home Office's standard response on Hanif’s case has been: “Further representations have been made to the Home Secretary in this case and they are currently being carefully considered.”

    Over the years, India has sought individuals wanted for various crimes from Britain under the processes of extradition and deportation, the latter being a quicker process. However, in either process, India has not met with much success.

    India revoked the passports of individuals such as Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya – allegedly involved in financial irregularities – and sought their deportation, but Britain has not yet agreed to the requests.

    The list of individuals sought by India from Britain through extradition and deportation is said to be around 15. Some recent cases of individuals wanted for alleged offences in India are:

    • Vijay Mallya (financial)
    • Lalit Modi (financial)
    • Ravi Shankaran (Indian Navy war room leak case)
    • Tiger Hanif (1993 blasts in Gujarat)
    • Nadeem Saifi (Gulshan Kumar murder case)
    • Raymond Varley (UK citizen; child abuse cases in Goa)
     
  7. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    Theresa May was personally responsible for stalling talks on an EU free trade deal with India, because she was obsessed with controlling immigration, according to former business secretary Vince Cable.
    Vince Cable.jpg
    The prime minister will travel to India next month in a bid to lay the groundwork for developing a new trading relationship, after Britain leaves the EU.

    But Cable, who was closely involved in liaising with Brussels as business secretary in the coalition, said a key sticking point in years of unsuccessful negotiations between India and the EU was May’s refusal to compromise on immigration.

    But he said May, then the home secretary, refused to compromise because “she was obsessed by her target” of bringing down immigration.

    Cable said there were other issues at stake in the complex trade deal negotiations, which began in 2007 but were never completed, including Britain’s desire to win better access to the Indian financial services market. But he said objections to migration were crucial to the failure of the talks’ progress.

    Cable said: “I and other ministers would come back and say, ‘the Indians want improved access on Mode 4,’ and the answer would be, ‘Not on your nelly, we’re not doing anything on this.’ The message would go back to the EU that the British were not willing to budge.” He added: “They [the Home Office] were very obstructive.”

    The former business secretary said post-Brexit Britain would continue to struggle to complete a trade deal with India, unless May was willing to take a more flexible approach on immigration. He said: “If you’re talking about trade in services rather than trade in goods, it involves people moving around – but they’re pathologically opposed to people moving around.”

    Some pro-Brexit ministers, including the international development secretary, Priti Patel, suggested during the referendum campaign that extricating Britain from the EU could eventually result in higher levels of migration from non-EU countries, including India. But May has made clear that she regards controlling all migration as a central benefit from leaving the EU.

    Prof Anand Menon, director of thinktank UK in a Changing Europe, said it was naive to think that once Britain has left new trade deals would be easy to strike. He said: “The fact of the matter is, in some circumstances, the EU’s not the stumbling block – we are.”

    Menon said a 2013 Home Office proposal to force migrants from some countries, including India, to post a £3,000 bond, had been bad for perceptions of the UK, although it was never enacted. “The mood music in the Indian press was: ‘These people want to do deals with us but they don’t like our people,’” he said.

    Announcing her visit to India, the prime minister said: “As we leave the European Union, we have the chance to forge a new global role for the UK – to look beyond our continent and towards the economic and diplomatic opportunities in the wider world.”
     
  8. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    U.K. and India’s Migration Spat Hints at Trade Woes After Brexit

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    U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May risks walking into a row over migration when she meets Indian premier Narendra Modi on Monday, underlining the challenges she faces as she prepares for Britain’s future outside the European Union.

    Modi will raise May’s restrictions on student visas during the meeting in New Delhi after Indian students enrolling in British universities fell by 50 percent, his office said. For her part, May said curbs on migration into Britain from non-EU countries are working well.

    “We have a visa system for countries outside the European Union which ensures that the brightest and the best are able to come to the United Kingdom,” she told reporters traveling with her to India. “The figures show that we issued more work visas to India than I think the U.S., Australia, Canada and China put together."


    The row over migration could be a sign of the difficulties ahead for May as she seeks to pave the way for deals with countries outside the EU after leaving the bloc. She sees controlling Britain’s borders as key to satisfying the 17 million voters who backed Brexit in the June referendum, but risks antagonizing countries she will need as trade and investment partners.

    May’s trip offers a chance to recover momentum after a double-setback at home last week, when she lost a court case over Parliament’s role in Britain’s divorce from the EU and one of her lawmakers quit in protest at her strategy. Brexit Secretary David Davis is likely to lead her counter-offensive in the House of Commons on Monday as officials prepare an appeal to the Supreme Court, due to be heard next month.

    Newspaper Anger
    The ruling that May must consult Parliament before starting Brexit negotiations threatens to slow down and complicate the process of leaving the EU and could dilute her plans to deliver on the referendum result. The Daily Mail was among newspapers that criticized the judges, branding them “enemies of the people,” and sparking anger from lawyers who were further incensed by the government’s reluctance to condemn the coverage.

    “I believe in and value the independence of our judiciary," May told reporters on her plane, before risking further anger by defending the newspapers. “I also value the freedom of our press. I think these both underpin our democracy.”


    The government has a "strong" legal case for why British lawmakers should not get to vote on when to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would begin Britain’s formal exit from the EU, she said.

    “We have had two court cases in the U.K. - they have come out with different decisions. The Northern Irish court found in favor of the government, the High Court found against the government,” May said. “We think we have strong legal arguments and we will be taking those arguments to the Supreme Court.”

    Campaigners on both sides of the Brexit divide waded into the debate over the weekend with comments that seemed unlikely to lower the political temperature.

    Dark Clouds
    “The papers have behaved, in my view, disgracefully,” campaigner Gina Miller, the citizen who took the government to court, told the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday. “The dark clouds are definitely gathering -- and it’s every-ism you can think of: sexism, racism, homophobia. Everything is there.”

    Nigel Farage, leader of the pro-Brexit U.K. Independence Party, said on the same program that the national mood would not tolerate any deviation from the goal of a full break with the EU.

    “There is a political and wealthy ruling elite who are not prepared to accept the democratic result of referendums,” he said. “If the people in this country think that they’re going to be cheated, they’re going to be betrayed, then we will see political anger the likes of which none of us in our lifetimes have ever witnessed in this country.”

    Speaking to journalists traveling with her in India, May showed no sign of wanting to relax the rules for migrants from countries beyond Europe. Instead, she tried to woo Indian business executives with the promise of a smoother and faster visa process for those among the country’s commercial elite who want to invest in the U.K.

    Bespoke Visas
    The prime minister outlined what her officials called a “bespoke” visa service for “high net-worth” Indian business leaders, and promised faster border checks for all executives traveling from India to Britain.

    “As we leave the EU, we want to ensure that the United Kingdom remains one of the most attractive countries in the world to do business and invest,” May said in a statement to journalists traveling with her. “We want to attract more Indian businesses to the U.K., which is why it’s right to offer Indian business executives a world-class visa service tailored to their needs.”

    Migration is not the only point of tension between London and New Delhi. May also promised to raise the case of six former British troops who were convicted of gun running to terrorists and are in prison in India. She is under pressure from the veterans’ families and the press to secure their release.

    May said she has also been unable to arrange a meeting with senior figures at Tata Group, amid uncertainty for 4,000 workers at the company’s plant in Port Talbot, south Wales. The Indian multinational declared its plan to sell all or part of its British business in March, another source of strife for May’s administration.
     
  9. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    All news articles are indicating as if Visa is the only issue between UK and India.
    I believe this will become a non-issue by the end of ongoing UK PM's visit. Just like Pharma was a big issue prior to Modi's first visit to U.S, Now nobody is even talking about it.
     
  10. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    It's definitely not the only issue but we have not been able to make successful negotiation with EU for years because of May's immigration policy as that was our primary demand.

    UK immigration policy could wreck trade deal

    Before her first bilateral visit outside Europe on Sunday, taking 33 business representatives to India, May said she wished to “reboot” the relationship between the two countries. “The UK and India are natural partners – the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy – and together I believe we can achieve great things – delivering jobs and skills, developing new technologies and improving our cities, tackling terrorism and climate change,” she said.

    Indian government spokesman, Vikas Swarup, told the Observer that May faced tough questions when she arrived in Delhi on immigration and mobility for Indian students and workers in the UK.

    “Indian students and people-to-people relations are important pillars of India-UK ties,” he said. “In the last five years or so, the number of Indian students enrolling in UK universities has gone down by almost 50%; from around 40,000 to about 20,000 now. This has happened because of restrictions on post-study stay in the UK.

    Mobility of people is closely linked to free flow of finance, goods and services.”

    The former Liberal Democrat MP said that among a series of policy decisions by the Home Office, May’s refusal to allow greater access to the UK for skilled Indian workers, in particular, “screwed up” chances of an EU-India trade deal. He said: “When I was secretary of state I was involved in trying to negotiate the EU-India trade agreement, which didn’t get very far. This myth has been created that we are not able to make progress on deals because of Wallonia or Slovenia. In this particular case, the problem was Britain.

    In 2010, when she was home secretary, May scrapped the post-study work visa, which allowed foreign students a two-year work permit in the UK after completing a course at a British university. Indian students now find it difficult even to get internships or part-time work while they study in the UK.


    In 2013 May tried to introduce a controversial “visa bond” scheme for foreign students from six African and Asian countries, of which India was the biggest, to prevent “high-risk” students staying in the UK after their work permits expired. The scheme, which was not introduced in the end, caused widespread outrage among Indian students at the time and Cable said it was “remembered” by Indian politicians.

    Shashi Tharoor, chairman of India’s parliamentary standing committee on external affairs, said May’s anti-immigrant policies were “detrimental” to relations between the UK and India.

    It is as much in Britain’s interests to attract Indian students as it is in India’s interests for our students to study there.

    “The Indian government should ask why this is happening, and whether the withdrawal of the welcome mat sends a broader signal, intended or otherwise, to other Indians.”

    “The hope and expectation is that most of the students will return to India with enhanced skills and knowledge, whereas emigrants are lost to India altogether, which gives the Indian government no reason to encourage their departure.
     
  11. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    UK reaffirms support to India’s bid for UNSC membership
    The leaders directed their officials to have close and regular consultations on all matters related to the United Nations, including UN terrorist designations.

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    The two Prime Ministers also expressed desire to enter into a Framework for the UK-India Cyber Relationship. (source: AP)

    Britain on Monday reaffirmed its support to India’s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC) as the Prime Ministers of the two countries directed their officials concerned to have “close and regular consultations” on all matters related to the international body. The United Kingdom also welcomed India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a key global non-proliferation objectives, and backed India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as other key export control regimes like the Australia Group.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May also welcomed a fourth phase of the Joint UK-India Civil Nuclear Research Programme that will look at new technologies for enhancing nuclear safety, advanced materials for nuclear systems, waste management and future civil nuclear energy systems. The leaders directed their officials to have close and regular consultations on all matters related to the United Nations, including UN terrorist designations.

    Recognising that Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is a global challenge, India and the UK announced new research partnerships worth 80 million pounds, including establishment of a joint strategic group on AMR with a joint investment of up to 13 million pounds.

    The two sides said they would work together to support the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.

    “The growing India-UK cyber relationship is a success story of the Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP),” a joint statement by the two Prime Ministers said. The two Prime Ministers also expressed desire to enter into a Framework for the UK-India Cyber Relationship. Projects to reduce post-harvest losses to benefit farmers, collaborations in health care and the launch of the second phase of joint research in women and children’s health in low-income settings were also announced.

    May also signalled the UK’s intention to join the International Solar Alliance. In their joint statement, both the Prime Ministers said they look forward to the celebration of 2017 as the India-UK Year of Culture and support the activities and programmes being planned, for example an exhibition of Indian Science in the Science Museum in London and another highlighting 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare.

    Negotiating closer trading relationship, May says she will improve visa offer if India takes back citizens illegally in UK
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
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  12. aditya10r

    aditya10r RIDER171 Senior Member

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    Are the new visa rules problem for general public??

    I have Europe trip planned for next year includes uk too
     
  13. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    Should not be a problem for tourists? The issue is just over the failure to negotiate a trade deal with UK/EU . They want less immigration and free trade deal with us and to lift restrictions in banking, insurance, accounting etc which is their strongest sector while we want them to allow more visas for students and skilled worker in return.
     
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  14. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Appeasement politics?

    Theresa May in a Bangalore temple today..................................

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. OrangeFlorian

    OrangeFlorian Anon Supreme Senior Member

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  16. OrangeFlorian

    OrangeFlorian Anon Supreme Senior Member

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    I know for a fact someone is going to b*tch about colonialism and how Brexit is secretly racist in the next few hours.
    Probably a result of the public education system they hate so much
    Theresa May hasn't done jack sh*t to you even though she is a very confused individual. Get over it its been 70 years.
    Their not going to tax their own populace(part of which isn't even white) to pay for your reparation money
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  17. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    India is a major strategic partner, and will remain so, says French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
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    French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

    The winds of change blowing through the UK, US and Europe could have implications for India and its ties with major powers such as France. French foreign ministerJean-Marc Ayrault talks to Indrani Bagchi about the future of France-India ties.

    Q. What are the focus areas for France-India cooperation now?

    France and India are united by a long, loyal friendship. Our strategic partnership dates back to 1998 and enables us to cooperate on all subjects, including the most sensitive ones such as counter-terrorism, defence, civil nuclear energy and aerospace. This shows the degree of trust between our two countries. We have built a solid relationship in all areas, including economy, education, research and culture. I would also like to highlight our vibrant dialogue on sustainable development and climate change with Prime Minister Modi. This dialogue was a crucial factor in the success of the Paris Agreement. It has given rise to numerous concrete cooperation projects between our countries and businesses, including on the implementation of the Smart Cities Programme.

    Q. With Francois Hollande out of the race for the French presidential elections, and the buzz around Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, is there cause for India to be nervous about bilateral ties?

    India is a major strategic partner for France, and will remain so. The friendship between France and India is not dependent on the domestic political developments of either country, and commits all successive French and Indian governments. The key words are trust and long-term commitment.

    Q. Staying in Europe, could there be a possibility of "Frexit", and after the Italian referendum, is the Eurozone under threat?

    Most people in France want to stay in the European Union. Although they sometimes criticize its workings, they are well aware of what Europe has brought them: peace and economic prosperity for the last 60 years. Some populists want France to leave the European Union, but what do they propose in its place? Not a thing! That would be a leap in the dark, and damaging to everyone. France's future is in Europe. That does not mean that we shouldn't bring about change in the European Union, so that it best addresses the expectations of its citizens.

    As for the euro, I can assure you that it is a solid currency that has endured major crises in the past and is certainly not threatened by the result of a referendum in a Member State.

    Q. How do you see Brexit playing out for Europe in the coming days?

    Brexit is, of course, a decision that we regret. But we have to respect the decision of the British people. The possibility of a Member State withdrawing from the EU was, moreover, provided for in the Treaty on European Union, with the Article 50 exit procedure. We therefore have a legal framework under which to work. The British government now needs to officially notify its decision to leave the European Union as soon as possible, and it has not yet done so. With effect from the notification, a period of two years will begin for negotiating the conditions for its exit.
    These negotiations will have to respect a number of principles, including the fact that access to the internal market of the European Union is inseparable from free movement of goods, services, capital and persons. These four freedoms are inextricably linked, as the 27 other Member States confirmed following the British referendum.

    Q. With US President-elect Donald Trump appearing to want to normalize US-Russia relations, how does France assess Russia today?

    France is bound to the United States by relations of friendship dating back to the country's very origins and is preparing to work with the new American administration. It will be up to them to clarify their positions on a certain number of subjects that are of vital importance for the whole international community. In an uncertain world, the European Union has a special role to play as a bastion of stability, capable of providing effective collective responses to crises. I hope that Donald Trump will be keen to commit to this shared effort to bring solutions to major global challenges.

    Russia is a partner for France, and a country that counts. We have constant, clear dialogue with it. When our positions diverge, we have to recognize that and work on resolving the issue.

    Q. India is laying a great deal of emphasis on the Indian Ocean region. How are India and France working together in this area?

    We have major shared ambitions regarding maritime security and cooperation in the Indian Ocean. Of course, France is also an Indian Ocean country, because of Reunion Island. France has always considered India to be an essential partner for regional stability and security. Our two countries work together, be it cooperation between our navies or industrial matters. We regularly hold an annual bilateral dialogue to strengthen our relations in this area. In fact, its next session will take place in Delhi in a few days' time.

    Q. Europe has given China a free pass on human rights and other issues in the interests of economic cooperation in the hope that China would become more integrated with the west. China is changing the rules, as we saw in South China Sea. How does Europe see a growing China?

    Europe does not give a free pass to any country, and France works to ensure that its relations with all partners are consistent with its values. That's the case with human rights, which it is essential to respect. In this regard, I don't think there is any contradiction between the interests of economic diplomacy and values such as freedom and human rights, which are defended by France and the European Union. France's relationship of trust with China allows us to discuss all subjects, without exception, and I make very sure of that.

    Q. There appear to be concerns about the financial health of the French company EDF which is expected to build nuclear plants in India. Where is the status of the project at and what are the timelines for the Jaitapur project at this time?

    EDF is one of the most financially robust European companies. In order to continue its development and in accordance with its strategy promoting low-carbon innovation, EDF has drawn up an action plan involving the elimination of certain non-strategic assets, operational savings and a capital increase via a market operation of around 4 billion. The French Government fully supports EDF's plan and is committed to contributing 3 billion to this capital increase operation.

    During his State visit in January 2016, President Hollande reaffirmed, alongside Prime Minister Modi, the shared determination of our two countries to complete the construction of 6 EPR in Jaitapur. The negotiations are moving forward and a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) should be signed in mid-2017. The Chairman of EDF will also be visiting India in the coming days. This is a vital project for our strategic partnership. It is also very important to enable India to ensure that its economic development is in compliance with its commitments to combating climate change.



    Q. How is France dealing with the migrants issue now?
    Migration is part of human history across all continents. It contributes to its diversity and enrichment and the contact of peoples and cultures. In the face of rising fears that are testing our political systems, our societies and our unity, it is our responsibility to stress that refugees need protection above all, and that they are men and women - like all of us - to whom we owe fraternity and solidarity. In 2016, Europe dealt with a historic influx of refugees, primarily as a direct result of conflicts in the Mediterranean Basin and Syria, in particular.


    To address this situation as effectively as possible, the European Union is implementing a policy based on the principles of solidarity and responsibility. Solidarity with refugees, who need the international protection we have committed to granting them, and also with Member States, through direct support for the European countries that are most affected. And responsibility, through enhanced action to combat human smugglers and traffickers who exploit migrants' despair, and a strengthened return policy for those not eligible for international protection. As has often been the case in the European Union's history, it is during a crisis that its policies have been enhanced - this time in the area of asylum.

    HaHa....:) Disappointed a bit? ......... Hours, days, weeks, months gone...but it Didn't happen . I guess people aren't bothered with Britain at all.
     
    Indx TechStyle and OrangeFlorian like this.
  18. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    May be not be completely true but the index sums up right.[​IMG]
     
  19. Villager

    Villager Regular Member

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    Make in India for defence: UK ready for tech transfer to India

    NEW DELHI: Britain today offered technology transfer to India for co-production of military platforms and weapon systems to jointly become "world beaters" in arms exports.

    Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon also called for strengthening cooperation between the two countries to effectively deal with terrorism and extremism, calling them a major challenge facing the globe.

    [​IMG]
    Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon also called for strengthening cooperation between the two countries to effectively deal with terrorism and extremism, calling them a major challenge facing the globe.

    The British Defence Secretary is on a four-day visit to India aimed at enhancing security and defence ties.

    During an interactive session at a leading think-tank on UK-India strategic ties, he referred to a spate of recent terror attacks including in London, St Petersburg and Egypt and said both India and the UK will have to work harder to deal with the menace.

    "No country is immune from terrorism. India and the UK need to work hard to combat it," he said, particularly emphasising on boosting cyber security cooperation to protect youths from radicalism and extremism.

    Fallon refused to respond to a question on death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court.

    On Indo-UK defence production, he said with innovation and collaboration, Britain and India can prove to be "world beaters".

    "We are looking at government-to-government framework for transfer of technology," he said, on technology transfer to India in defence manufacturing.

    The British Defence Secretary also gave a run down of reform measures taken by his country in the defence sector and said a partnership with India will provide an unprecedented opportunity to match the British experience with Indian brainpower.

    As per statistics collated by UK Trade and Investment, the country is the second biggest arms exporter in the world after the US. It said UK has sold more arms than Russia, China and France on average over the last 10 years.

    Britain has been a leading supplier of military platforms to India as well.

    Fallon will hold talks with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley tomorrow on enhancing security ties and deepening cooperation in combating terrorism and extremism.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...become-world-beaters/articleshow/58145079.cms
     

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