As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May will continue on her mission to bolster trade with countries outside the 28-nation-bloc with a three-day visit to India scheduled for next month.
Between 6th and 8th November, May will travel with a delegation of small and medium-sized businesses to meet with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, alongside a number of Indian businesses.
The visit signals May’s first bilateral visit to a country outside Europe since she took office in July, and showcases her ambition of forging a new global role for Britain after it leaves the European Union, May’s Downing Street office said in a statement.
The European Commission is responsible for trade negotiations for the EU and some countries have said they will not negotiate a new deal for Britain until it has actually left the bloc.
“As we embark on the trade mission to India we will send the message that the UK will be the most passionate, most consistent, and most convincing advocate for free trade,” Mrs May said.
She added: “The relationships between our two countries are strong, and the Indian diaspora plays a vital role in our national life.
“In my talks with Prime Minister Modi I want to build on our relationship for the benefit of both our countries, generating jobs and wealth and maintaining cooperation on defence and security.”
May also commented on previous trade missions, and their reliance on ‘big business’, yet she now wanted to adopt a new approach and would take small and medium companies from every region of the United Kingdom.
Among them will be Geolang, a cyber security company based in Cardiff in Wales, Torftech, a biomass energy company based in southeast England, and Telensa, a company focused on high-tech wireless street lighting systems, based in Cambridge.
Liam Fox, Britain’s secretary of state for international trade, will join the visit, during which a number of commercial deals are expected to be signed.