Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a virtual summit on Tuesday where the two leaders reaffirmed their partnership and laid out a shared vision for UK-India defence cooperation. With a special focus on maritime and industrial collaboration, PM Modi and PM Johnson stressed on the benefits of closer cooperation in a free and open Indo-Pacific, recognising their shared interest in the region's prosperity and stability.
A new agreement on 'Maritime Domain Awareness' was signed between India and the UK with emphasis on maritime information sharing, an invitation to the UK to join India’s Information Fusion Centre in Gurgaon and an extensive exercise programme that includes joint tri-lateral exercises.
An agreement was also signed to support the 'Make In India' initiative of PM Modi, between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Rolls Royce to move aspects of the manufacture of the MT30 Gas Turbine engine to India.
The two countries are also working to conclude a 'Logistics Memorandum of Understanding' to enhance their joint ability to tackle shared challenges.
In addition to commitments on the Indo-Pacific, India and the UK agreed to build on existing government-to-government collaboration on India’s future combat air engine requirement and also discussed furthering industrial collaboration in areas like maritime propulsion, space and cyber, etc.
UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, said, "The UK and India enjoy a strong defence and security relationship. We remain committed to close collaboration with India as we both adapt to meet future threats and look to innovate our defence equipment programmes and systems"
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Minister of External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar signed the ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership’, which aims to make it easier for British and Indian nationals to live and work in each other’s countries. The agreement protects those who migrate lawfully to the UK and agrees on enhanced cooperation in combatting organised immigration crime and speeding up returns of visa overstayers.
It also puts to action a special 'Young Professionals' scheme to allow young Indian and British professionals to work and live in each other’s country for two years – the first such scheme for a visa-national country.
Talking about the agreement Home Secretary Priti Patel said, "The UK Government is committed to deliver an immigration system that offers clear opportunities to the brightest and best talent from India and around the world to come to the UK to study, work and live. This ground-breaking new partnership with India is an important milestone in delivering on that commitment."
Meanwhile, UK has confirmed that the UK Carrier Strike Group 2021 led by Queen Elizabeth will be sailing to India in the autumn on its maiden operational deployment.