Post-Brexit UK will be just as important to India: Modi

LONDON: Britain will be just as important to India after it leaves the EU as it is now, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his British counterpart Theresa May on Wednesday, May’s spokeswoman said. “Prime Minister Modi said there would be no dilution in the importance of the UK to India post-Brexit,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
“He said the City of London was of great importance to India for accessing the global markets and would remain so.”
Modi is in London for this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He told May in a bilateral meeting that Brexit offered opportunities to increase trade ties between Britain and India, the statement added.
Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019 but has negotiated a conditional transition or implementation period to last until January 2021.
“May said the implementation period agreed in March gives Indian companies and investors the confidence that market access will continue on current terms until the end of 2020,” the statement said.
“She reiterated that the UK will remain committed to global free trade and investment and that the UK will remain a leading hub for global finance,” it added.
Meanwhile, hundreds of noisy protesters greeted Modi when he arrived in London on Wednesday, demonstrating over a rising tide of sexual violence at home including two particularly brutal rapes.
Holding placards, they gathered outside Downing Street and parliament as Modi arrived for talks with May.
“The Indian government is doing nothing, and you feel sorry for the families because of the total injustice of it all,” said Navindra Singh, an Indian-born lawyer who lives in Britain.
“He has been in power for four years now and there has been no policy change to help protect women and children.”
Protests have erupted across India after the latest rape cases were reported. Police officers and a politician are under investigation in two of the unrelated cases. — Reuters