Business visas remain an area of “active negotiation” in the discussions, Trade Minister Greg Hands told the House of Commons on Wednesday. He said talks are complete on the majority of the deal.
The government is trying to highlight the benefits of Brexit by adding to the new trade deals it’s struck since leaving the European Union, and Hands said an agreement with India will give exporters greater access to a billion consumers. But loosening visa arrangements could also put Sunak — the UK’s first British prime minister of Indian-origin — on a collision course with Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who recently expressed concerns about the arrangements.
Braverman, a hardline Brexiteer whose parents are also both of Indian origin, appeared to oppose a more generous visa policy in an interview with the Spectator earlier this month, saying: “I do have some reservations. Look at migration in this country — the largest group of people who overstay are Indian migrants.”
Sunak is already under pressure for appointing Braverman back to the post she quit just a week ago over a security breach that she herself acknowledged broke ministerial rules.
Braverman also told the Spectator that she had “concerns about having an open-borders migration policy with India because I don’t think that’s what people voted for with Brexit.”
With inputs from NDTV