UK-India Trade Talks: Sunak Holds Firm on Immigration Policy

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By Sanwar Ali:

The UK-India Trade Deal, a highly anticipated post-Brexit agreement, is in the limelight once again. As the negotiations move forward, the deal's implications for businesses and immigrants are under close scrutiny. By leveraging recent reports from The Telegraph and BBC, this article provides an analysis of this complex issue.

The Trade Deal: A Brief Overview

The UK-India Trade Deal has been a part of bilateral discussions between the two nations for quite some time. It remains uncertain if and when the deal will be finalised.

There are some disputed matters that have been temporarily set aside. These include matters related to visas, alcohol tariffs, and protection of Indian generic medicine manufacturers. The complexity and sensitivity of these subjects is clear by the decision to separate them from the main deal.

Immigration: The Elephant in the Room

Immigration is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects of the UK-India trade negotiations. India has been pushing for easier access to visas for its nurses and IT professionals. However, the UK has maintained a clear stance that immigration will not be part of the trade deal. Notably, both UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman are of Indian ancestry and children of immigrants.

Geopolitical and Humanitarian Angles

The UK-India trade deal discussions aren't confined to economic aspects alone. The UK has urged India to take a stand against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This request adds a geopolitical dimension to the negotiations, showing that the deal is about more than just trade and business. It seems unlikely that India will take a tough stand against Russia, as India is very keen on remaining on good terms with Russia. India remains a big trading partner with Russia and, for example, buys a great deal of Russian oil.

Moreover, the visit by Rishi Sunak, the first British Prime Minister of Indian descent, to India is seen as a 'historic moment.' This could potentially benefit UK-India relations in the future.

Implications for UK Businesses

Businesses interested in the Indian market should stay informed about the developments in the negotiation process. They should also prepare for potential changes that could impact their operations.


If the deal is ever finalised it is expected to boost economic relations between the two nations. However, it seems that any deal will not make that much difference for Indians wishing to live and work in the UK.

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