‘Boris’s R-Day visit can strengthen India-UK ties’

New Delhi, Dec 21(FN Bureau) Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed visit to India as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations might enhance India-UK ties in post-Covid and post-Brexit era as both New Delhi and London have multiple reasons to revamp their relationship, experts observed here on Monday. Such a focus on bilateral relationships is “sensible”, they said.

The experts underlined that with the UK’s economy taking a big hit due to the Covid-19 and bracing for Brexit’s impact, London is looking for ties with New Delhi to offset the double blows. They also pointed out that there already exists many areas of strong cooperation between the two sides, as exemplified by the partnership between Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Serum Institute to produce a Covid vaccine. “But more can be done in IT, financial services, manufacturing, climate change and green technology,” the experts said. The comments on strengthening Indo-UK relations came a day after European countries began closing their borders to travellers from the United Kingdom. Informatively, on Saturday, Mr Johnson ordered a wholesale lockdown on London and surrounding counties, citing concerns of a new fast-spreading variant of the Coronavirus. The move came as British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that the government has imposed a strict Christmas lockdown in London and southeast England as the new strain was “out of control”.