Suella Braverman, the UK Home Secretary, said that the Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) had not “worked very effectively.” At the same time, India refuted this accusation by stating that it has taken action in all instances brought to it under the pact.
The Indian High Commission in the UK responded to a PTI inquiry regarding Ms. Braverman’s interview in “The Spectator,” in which she claimed that Indians were the “largest group of people who overstay” their visas in the UK, by saying that India is waiting for “demonstrable progress” on the commitments made by the UK government under the MMP, which was signed last year.
The government of India is committed to cooperating with the government of the UK to make it easier for Indian nationals who have overstayed their visa time in the UK to return home, according to a statement from the Indian High Commission on Thursday.
“All of the instances reported to the High Commission have, as of this writing, seen action, according to the data supplied by the Home Office. Additionally, the UK has committed to upholding a number of obligations under the Migration and Mobility Protocol, and we look forward to seeing results “It read.
The High Commission underlined that any future agreements would be advantageous to both parties in response to Ms. Braverman’s contentious remarks about having “reservations” over visas on the planned Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that is currently being discussed between the two sides.
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Although some mobility and migration-related issues are currently being discussed as part of these negotiations, the High Commission stated that commenting on these matters may not be appropriate given that the talks are still ongoing and that any agreement will include issues of interest to both sides.
The minister of Indian descent who took over the Home Office last month, Ms. Braverman, said she had “concerns” about the FTA with India because she feared an “open borders” migration policy.
The British weekly news magazine quoted Ms. Braverman saying, “I have worries about having an open borders migration policy with India because I don’t believe that’s what people voted for with Brexit.”
When questioned about the flexibility of visas for students and businesspeople under an FTA between India and the UK, she responded: “But I do have some misgivings. Take a look at immigration to our nation. Indian immigrants make up the majority of those who overstay their visas “.
“To promote and enable improved collaboration in this area, we even reached an agreement with the Indian government last year. It hasn’t always worked out nicely, “She said.
Ms. Braverman’s claim that the MMP has not performed as expected is a clear sign that she would most likely refuse to get Cabinet approval for any visa waivers for India as part of an FTA.
This would conflict with Liz Truss, the British Prime Minister, who is eager to meet the Diwali target for an FTA with India as one of her signature trade agreements since assuming office. This year, Diwali occurs on October 24.
On the Indian side, any trade deal must consider how easy it is for professionals and students to move around.