Although “Brexit” is not yet complete, the Johnson administration, eager to build a “global Britain”, has set its sights on the “post-Brexit era”, and India has recently become the focus of London’s eyes. British Foreign Secretary Raab is visiting India.
Sources from India’s Foreign Ministry told the Global Times on the 16th that the purpose of Raab’s visit was to “balance” the relationship between the two countries in the “post-Brexit era” and to prepare for British Prime Minister Johnson’s visit to India.
Raab has visited India for four days from the 14th. He held talks with Indian Prime Minister Modi and Foreign Minister So Jiesheng on the 16th and 15th respectively. According to India’s New Delhi Television (NDTV), Raab and Su Jiesheng held a four-hour meeting on Tuesday to discuss five key areas, including trade and prosperity, defense and security.
The British Foreign Secretary later announced that Prime Minister Johnson would visit India in January next year to attend the celebration of Republic of India Day as the main guest. Raab said he hoped that the two countries would continue to strengthen their trade partnership next year and lay the foundation for the signing of a bilateral free trade agreement.
The Indian Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying that the two sides agreed to “priority the completion of an ambitious 10-year 360-degree road map” and take the India-British partnership to a new level.
The road map will be approved during Johnson’s visit to India. The Indian Foreign Ministry also said that the two sides recognized the importance of “promoting” trade agreement negotiations and reaching a comprehensive migration and mobility partnership agreement.
According to the BBC and India’s Financial Express, Raab said that Britain’s previous excessive attention to Europe was “shortsighted”, but London was about to “retake control” and would reach new agreements with countries and regions with development opportunities. He stressed that the Indo-Pacific region has great economic potential in the next 20-30 years.
The British Independent believes that Johnson’s visit to India next year is correct, which is exactly what “globalized Britain” should do after Brexit. According to NDTV, Johnson’s visit to India marked the beginning of an exciting year of “globalizing Britain” and made bilateral relations achieve “a huge leap forward”. India is right to bet on a post-Brexit Britain, according to Hindustan Times.
India-UK relations have been unsatisfactory for decades, because neither side has invested in really understanding what the other party values. Johnson’s visit provides an opportunity to reposition the relationship between the two countries.