English News


Johnson signals more visas for Indians if New Delhi grants greater access to UK goods

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated he was ready to offer more work visas to Indian professionals in return for a free-trade deal that would open India’s vast market for British goods such as Scotch whisky.

According to a Reuters report, Johnson said, "I have always been in favour of talented people coming to this country.  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."

He was speaking to journalists on board the official flight to Ahmedabad on Thursday,

Signing a free-trade deal with India has been a high priority for Britain in the post-Brexit environment as it looks at the fast-growing Indian economy for a bigger market after its distancing from the European Union's common trade policy.

India wants greater opportunities for Indian professionals including software engineers and doctors to live and work in Britain. Any trade deal will likely be contingent on relaxing rules and lowering of fees for Indian students and professionals going to the country.

India and Britain already share strong trade ties and Johnson is keen to expand this relationship.

Britain has said the trade deal could almost double British exports to India, and by 2035 boost total trade by 28 billion pounds ($38 billion) per year. Total trade in 2019 was worth 23 billion pounds, according to British data.