Prime Minister Theresa May is keen to build on the “very strong relationship” with India after Britain leaves the European Union but is unlikely to relax visa rules, a sticking point between the two countries.
India has already indicated that the mobility, or visa, issue will be one of key points in talks on a free-trade agreement but May is unlikely to give concessions. Her party manifesto also promises to “bear down” on non-EU immigration. “We have already made quite great strides in what we have provided in India, with the priority services, which are now being extended to the type of visas they cover,” she said. Leading lights of the Brexit campaign had promised easier visa norms for India and other Commonwealth countries once Britain quit the 28-country bloc. The multi-billion pound Indian food industry struggling with shortage of chefs was promised a “rescue” after Brexit.
“The home office is discussing various ways in which that process (of returns) can be improved,” the Prime Minister said. “It is something I have said internationally, that I think where there are people who are in a country illegally, they should be returned…”
Her predecessor, David Cameron, had promised to nominate candidates from the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities to 20% of the seats where party MPs were retiring, but that has not happened.
“We have some good BME candidates. This was a very rapid process of putting candidates in place because of the election being called at short notice. I have been heavily involved in doing a lot of work on getting more women as Conservative MPs and what we are looking at as a party is how we can perhaps use that experience and provide support to get more BME candidates in future”, May said.