Times of India: November, 2016
New Delhi: Making India her first bilateral visit outside the European Union (EU), UK Prime Minister Theresa May will explore with PM Narendra Modi, the future of ties between India and Britain in a post-Brexit world.
During her time here from November 6-8, May will showcase her country's long-term relations with major economies like India. For India, it will be an opportunity to work out a better economic template that could make UK, already a premier destination for Indian investment, a more important trade partner.
On Thursday, May and Modi exchanged Diwali greetings and set the direction for future bilateral ties.
According to the MEA spokesperson, there is "substantial scope for further strengthening bilateral cooperation across a range of sectors, including science & technology, finance, trade & investment, and defence & security."
May's summit has been tagged to a technology meet being organised by the department of science & technology and CII, which is meant to demonstrate the importance and expanse of science & technology cooperation in India-UK ties.
Within the rubric of the tech summit, both nations will explore further ties in education, innovation, design and intellectual property rights.
Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her counterpart Liam Fox are expected to work out a free trade agreement, though the contours of that would only be worked out after the Brexit process is put in motion from early 2017.
With the UK tightening rules on allowing students to work in Britain after completing their studies there, the number of those enrolled in British universities has halved from 40,000 to about 20,000 in the past five years.
Vikas Swarup, MEA spokesperson said, "This has happened because of restrictions on post study stay in the UK. We have raised our concerns on the difficulties being faced by Indian students with the UK side. We expect mobility issues to be raised during the visit."
Announcing the visit, May herself gave an indication of how the UK approached ties with India post Brexit. "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," May had said. "I am determined to capitalize on those opportunities, and as we embark on the trade mission to India, we will send the message that the UK will be the most passionate, most consistent and most convincing advocate for free trade."