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Trade deal with India will encourage immigration, says ‘worried’ UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman

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According to Suella Braverman, a trade agreement between India and the UK will undermine Brexit objectives and encourage immigration to the UK. The UK Home Secretary has “reservations” about the pact because of this. As someone who believes that voters did not support an open-borders immigration policy with India when they voted for Brexit, Braverman expressed her reservations about such a strategy.

The UK Prime Minister Liz Truss recently urged British authorities and negotiators to adhere to the Diwali deadline for finishing the free trade agreement. Now, the Indian-origin politician has made this comment in her interview with The Spectator magazine.

She claimed that one of the reasons she pushed for Britain to exit the European Union (EU) was to reduce immigration. That was stated in the 2019 manifesto, she added. According to net migration statistics, the country is roughly where it was prior to Brexit.

Earlier, Piyush Goyal stated that the UK and India are aiming to complete the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) before the Diwali deadline. The fifth round of FTA talks between the two countries concluded in August.

“Two days ago, I received a letter from the UK again reiterating that they want to stick to the Diwali deadline (for the India-UK Free Trade Agreement),” Goyal said at an event on September 20 in New Delhi.

The fact that Truss wants the ambitious trade agreement with India and is willing to include migration in it didn’t seem to excite Braverman, according to The Spectator. She suggested that there might be flexibility for students and business owners. But, she harbours some misgivings. The majority of immigrants who overstay their visas in the UK are Indian, she added.

In 2020, 20,706 Indians overstayed their visas, more than any other nationality, according to UK home office records.

In addition, Braverman noted that a deal made with the Indian government in 2021 by her predecessor Priti Patel to promote and enable closer cooperation on visa overstayers had not always been successful.

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