Britain is to allow thousands more Indian students to enrol in UK universities in exchange for India agreeing to take back migrants living in the country illegally, The Telegraph has learned.
London and New Delhi are on the cusp of signing a “migration and mobility partnership”, which is part of a wider move towards bolstering relations that aims at securing a mini trade deal later this year.
Government insiders say the talks are still live and final details are yet to be ironed out, but the deal represents an important step on two key sticking points that have hampered bilateral relations in recent years.
There are hopes that the agreement could be clinched as early as this week, when Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s foreign minister, is in London for multilateral talks with the G7, hosted by Dominic Raab.
India has waged a long campaign pushing Britain for visa liberalisation, particularly for students and professionals, and is also hoping to secure closer investment ties with the UK.
The UK in turn is wrangling to secure greater access for British service providers to India, particularly in the legal sector, and a reduction in 150 per cent tariffs on Scotch whisky.
Photo: Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN
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