PM Modi refuses to sign MoU with Britain after it didn’t entertain India’s request for improving visa process

Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to sign a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom during his recent visit to the British Isles, owing to the latter not keeping their end of the bargain, Times of India has reported.

As per the report, the MoU comprised of India agreeing to take back illegal immigrants of its origin, in exchange for Britain offering Indians easier access to visas. The legwork with regards to this was laid down by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and UK’s immigration minister Caroline Nokes back in January.

The problem arose in the deal when India found that there was no progress on Britain’s end of the bargain which led Modi to refuse to sign the MoU in April, during his visit to London.

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This included Britain denying visas to spouses and rejecting visa applications under frivolous pretexts. India wanted that the visa environment improves mainly in case of short-term visas which concern students and corporate employees.

Had things gone on according to plan, Indians would have benefited via an improved Visa experience and Britain too would have rid itself of illegal immigrants having no legal claim to stay in their country.

Britain and India in recent days have also been logged in discussion with regards to issues like extradition of fugitives and economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi. As reported, India has sought that the UK speed up its extradition process in such matters.

The two countries have also had a bit of a tussle in Vijay Mallya’s extradition case, with UK courts hearing his case observing that the Indian jails were not in proper condition. PM Modi in this regard had retorted to his UK counterpart Theresa May that these jails which the UK courts talked about were the same where the British colonial government had imprisoned leaders like Gandhi and Nehru.

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