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Brexit fears hover over UK's May India visit

Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 01:50

British Prime Minister Theresa May visits India's technology centre after offering India a possible improved visa deal. As David Pollard reports, the two countries have been discussing boosting trading links ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union.

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'Tech' is a top word on Theresa May's visit to India. 'Manufacturing' too as both sides seek a common trade language in a post-Brexit world. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "The potential to expand the commercial opportunities for both our countries is huge, and on this visit alone more than one billion pounds of business deals will be signed." But not without conditions. India demanding - and now offered - looser visa conditions for Indians wanting to study and work in the UK. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "The attitude going out into India has been the UK/India bond is so strong that they're going to want to sign trade deals with us. But India have sat there and said 'Yeah, absolutely, but we need some free movement into the UK' which obviously completely stands against some of the arguments put forward by the Leave camp before the vote back in June." And if the UK referendum was the first task on the Brexit blueprint - formally triggering divorce proceedings with the EU is the next. May holding firm on a pledge to push the button on Article 50 in March next year. Though recent legal challenges means she may need parliament's approval first. In the meantime, the UK is still IN the EU. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "Trade deals between the UK and India ... can't happen until Article 50 has been invoked and we start to leave the European Union. This is window-dressing at the moment." May is not the only UK flag-carrier in India right now. The visiting English cricket team face hosts who are buoyed by a string of recent match victories. Both they - and their prime minister - on a proverbial 'sticky wicket' - with tough games ahead.

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Brexit fears hover over UK's May India visit

Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 01:50