UK PM Johnson signals visa flexibility with India: ‘always been in favour of…’

Other News Materials 21 April 2022 10:23 (UTC +04:00)
UK PM Johnson signals visa flexibility with India: ‘always been in favour of…’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signalled that he was ready to offer more visas to India in return for a free-trade deal after Britain's exit from the European Union, reported Reuters.

"I have always been in favour of talented people coming to this country," Johnson told reporters. "We are short to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people in our economy and we need to have a progressive approach and we will."

Johnson will begin his long-delayed visit from Ahmedabad where he will meet business leaders to discuss thriving commercial, trade and people links between the two countries. He will then travel to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. While speaking to reporters on the plane on his way to India, Johnson indicated that he was ready to be more accommodating on issues that could stall the post-Brexit deal with India, according to Reuters.

Johnson's office earlier said that the two leaders will hold “in-depth talks on the UK and India’s strategic defence, diplomatic and economic partnership, aimed at bolstering our close partnership and stepping up security co-operation in the Indo-Pacific.”

His visit is also being watched closely for a possible attempt from Johnson to coax India away from Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine as New Delhi stood back from international efforts to criticize President Vladimir Putin by abstaining from UN votes.

Johnson’s spokesperson Max Blain, however, stressed that the UK wouldn’t “lecture other democratically elected governments on what course of action was best for them.”

The spokesperson said the UK would “work with other countries to provide alternative options for defense procurement and energy for India to diversify its supply chains away from Russia.”

“My visit to India will deliver on the things that really matter to the people of both our nations – from job creation and economic growth, to energy security and defence,” Johnson had said last week.