Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Missed opportunities: The UK’s relationship with India
The UK is falling behind in the global race to engage with India, says a report from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
- Read the report summary
- Read the conclusions and recommendations
- Read the full report: Building Bridges: Reawakening UK-India ties
India's place in the world is changing fast and the UK government needs to adjust its strategy to fit India's enhanced influence and power; the UK cannot afford to be complacent or rely on historical ties.
The Government must address India's priorities
In Building Bridges: Reawakening UK-India ties, the Committee says that the Government must address India's priorities, facilitate easy movement of people, and support India's efforts to take up its rightful role on the international stage.
There is no excuse for the migration policies that have led the UK to lose ground in attracting Indian students and tourists - who not only contribute to our economy but build lasting bilateral ties. The FCO should ensure that the goal of improving the overall relationship with India is woven into the broader Government migration policy. Something has gone wrong it if it is more difficult for citizens of a strategically important democracy that shares our values, language and history to visit or study in the UK than those of an autocracy such as China, says the Report.
The Indian Ocean is a vital arena for closer defence and security cooperation with India. The FCO should take care to ensure that stronger economic ties with China are not at the expense of a deeper partnership with India.
As the UK prepares to look beyond the EU for trade opportunities, the Committee recommends that Government should prioritise talks with India and do more to lay the groundwork for an eventual deal. It must ensure that the 'Global Britain' strategy is heard in New Delhi.
India is an essential partner to the UK
The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, said:
"India is an essential partner to the UK. Our relationship and the living bridge of people who link our nations will only become more important. More than a million people of Indian heritage currently live in the UK. Our international interests are guided by similar principles: we have strong links through a diaspora, trade, investment, education, tourism and security interests - and as democracies, we share a strong stake in upholding the rule of law.
"Despite these opportunities the UK has failed to give the relationship the attention it deserves. We missed an important symbolic opportunity to issue a full apology on the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and recognise wrongs that also punctuate our shared history. The FCO should work with other departments and the Indian authorities, to find further ways to explore and commemorate UK-Indian history.
As new powers challenge the structure of global trade and dispute resolution, we cannot miss the opportunity to partner with India. Trade, security, a shared commitment to the rules-based international system - these are all factors in our growing and evolving partnership. The Government needs to make sure the UK is making its support for India clear, reawakening the ties between us and building bridges that are made to last."
The Committee's Report is published to coincide with UK-India week, which launches with a dedicated India Day at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 24th June, followed by a Leaders' Summit held over two days in Buckinghamshire.
Latest News from
Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Justice Committee - weekly update19/07/2019 17:23:00
At the end of sitting weeks the Justice Committee publishes a brief summary of its activities in the form of a weekly update.
A ‘No deal’ Brexit would be the most economically damaging outcome for UK business19/07/2019 14:25:00
In its latest report, the Committee on Exiting the EU warns that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would lead to severe disruption, pose a fundamental risk to the competitiveness of key sectors of the UK’s economy and put many jobs and livelihoods at risk.
Restructure body tasked with protecting statistics for public good, urges Committee19/07/2019 09:25:00
In a report on the governance of official statistics, PACAC argues that the dual role of the UK Statistics Authority in both producing and regulating official statistics has compromised its ability to ensure statistics serve the public good and recommends it is split into two separate bodies.
Government ‘far too slow’ in Grenfell Tower fire response, says Committee18/07/2019 13:05:00
In the two years since the Grenfell Tower fire, the Government has been “far too slow” in reforming the building and fire safety regime and is still not doing enough to remove dangerous cladding from existing buildings.
Review of investigative and scrutiny committees report published17/07/2019 13:05:00
The House of Lords Liaison Committee has today published its report Review of House of Lords Investigative and Scrutiny Committees: towards a new thematic committee structure.
UK failing to implement sustainable fishing law16/07/2019 14:25:00
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee publishes its follow-up report on wasteful fish discarding, six months on from the EU landing obligation coming into force.
Government’s Voluntary National Review casts doubt on its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals16/07/2019 10:05:00
The International Development Committee (IDC) identifies serious failings in the preparation and presentation of UK’s first Voluntary National Review of progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Failure on energy efficiency damages efforts to tackle climate change15/07/2019 09:05:00
The UK stands no chance of meeting its emissions reduction targets, including net zero by 2050, unless the Government takes urgent action to revive its failing energy efficiency policy and builders are compelled to deliver the latest energy efficiency standards, MPs have warned.