British Prime Minister Theresa May's three-day visit to India will involve discussions on improving defence, security and trade ties between the two countries, The Hindu reported. This is the prime minister's first bilateral visit outside the European Union.
Her visit gains significance as the United Kingdom announced changes on November 4 to its visa approval policy for non-European Union citizens, which stands to affect Indian professionals. The changes, which include the raising of salary tiers for different categories and new English language requirements, will reportedly affect Indian workers, especially information technology professionals.
In what is being observed as an attempt to bolster Britain's image in the post Brexit-era, May referred to India one of UK's "most important and closest" friends. May is leading a delegation of British officials and entrepreneurs.
An official said, "Why the Prime Minister is going to India for her first bilateral visit outside Europe is because India matters to us – now more than ever. In the context of Britain leaving the European Union, the aim is two-fold – to build on the groundwork already done to bring down trade barriers and deepen the UK’s relationships outside the EU,” PTI reported.
The official said, "With our world-class architects, lawyers, financiers, engineers, medics, academics and tech experts, Britain is the ideal partner" to help India achieve its development goals," PTI reported. May is also scheduled to address a technology summit in Bengaluru.