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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Prime Minister welcomes new era in UK-India relationship

Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Modi have agreed ambitious plans for the next decade of the UK-India relationship.

4 May 2021

  • '2030 roadmap' includes commitments to deepen cooperation on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence
  • Prime Minister has praised the overwhelming display of support from the British people to India over the last week

The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi have made an historic commitment to strengthen work between the UK and India over the next decade, bringing our countries, economies and people closer together.

The UK's Integrated Review, published earlier this year, highlighted the importance of the Indo-Pacific region to the UK's security and prosperity. India is an indispensable partner in that region.

The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi have pledged to achieve a quantum leap in the UK-India relationship, boosting our cooperation in areas that matter to the UK and India. India has elevated the status of its relationship with the UK to a 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership' – the first European country to be granted that status.

During a virtual meeting today the two leaders agreed a '2030 Roadmap' which will provide a framework for UK-India relations across health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence. The Roadmap includes commitments to:

  • Expand the UK-India health partnership to enhance global health security and pandemic resilience. This includes firming up international supply chains to ensure critical medicines, vaccines and other medical products reach those who need them most.
  • Work together to achieve the ambitious goals set out by the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi on tackling climate change and preserving nature. Accelerating the development of clean energy and transport, protecting biodiversity and helping developing countries adapt to the impact of climate change.
  • Deepen the economic relationship between the UK and India through an Enhanced Trade Partnership and confirming our intent to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with a view to doubling UK-India trade over the next decade.
  • Increase cooperation between British and Indian universities on crucial research in areas like health, emerging technologies and climate science.
  • Work in lockstep to tackle threats to our shared security in all their forms. The UK's Carrier Strike Group will visit India later this year to boost this work with our navies and air forces undertaking joint training exercises to enable future cooperation on operations in the Western Indian Ocean.

The breadth and depth of India's relationship with the UK is underpinned by the living bridge between our people. 1.6 million Brits have Indian ancestry, there are more Indian companies in the UK than in the rest of Europe combined, and our people share history, culture and values.

During their meeting, the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi undertook to work closely together in support of those values, including at next month's G7 in Cornwall which India will attend as a guest nation.

Over the last week British business, civil society and the wider public have demonstrated the strength of the relationship between the UK and India by donating much-needed medical supplies to the country. During their call, the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi agreed to continue to work together on our shared fight against coronavirus. They pointed to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, currently being produced by India's Serum Institute, as an example of the power of UK-India cooperation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The UK and India share many fundamental values. The UK is one of the oldest democracies, and India is the world's largest. We are both committed members of the Commonwealth. And there is a living bridge uniting the people of our countries.

In the last week the British people have stepped up in their thousands to support our Indian friends during this terrible time in a demonstration of the deep connection between the UK and India.

This connection will only grow over the next decade as we do more together to tackle the world's biggest problems and make life better for our people. The agreements we have made today mark the beginning of a new era in the UK-India relationship.

Work towards the goals of the 2030 Roadmap will be reviewed annually by the British and Indian Foreign Ministers and Ministers across Government will hold regular meetings with their Indian counterparts to make progress on our shared ambitions.

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