Sunak signs off thousands of visas for India’s ‘brightest people’

Rishi Sunak arrives in Bali for G20 summit

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Mr Sunak is meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday on the margins of the G20 summit in Indonesia. He agreed to push ahead with a planned reciprocal deal that will give young professionals from the UK and India a two-year visa.

Britain will offer 3,000 places a year to 18–30-year-old degree-educated Indian nationals.

The Prime Minister said: “The Indo-Pacific is increasingly crucial for our security and our prosperity. It is teeming with dynamic and fast-growing economies, and the next decade will be defined by what happens in this region.

“I know first-hand the incredible value of the deep cultural and historic ties we have with India. I am pleased that even more of India’s brightest young people will now have the opportunity to experience all that life in the UK has to offer – and vice-versa – making our economies and societies richer.”

Ms Braverman last month spoke out about plans for a full free trade deal with India, claiming the “largest group of people who overstay are Indian migrants”.

Sources in the Indian government said they were “shocked and disappointed” by the “disrespectful” remarks.

Mr Sunak said a trade deal would “obviously a fantastic opportunity” for the UK but he will not rush into it.

“I talked to Prime Minister Modi about it when we spoke and no doubt we’ll be talking about it again when we meet,” he added.

“But I wouldn’t sacrifice quality for speed. And that goes for all trade deals. It’s important that we get them right rather than rush them and so that’s the approach I’ll take on trade deals. 

“There’s lots of different things that go into trade deals. As I say, I wouldn’t sacrifice quality for speed. And the other thing with India, remember that the trade deal is just one part of a broader relationship we have which is incredibly strong and indeed strategic and happens across multiple different aspects of policy. 

“Trade is an important part of it, but it’s not the only part and we’ll be making progress in all of them.”

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