India and UK to strengthen defence ties; conclude free trade agreement by October

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Modi committed to reaching an agreement on a comprehensive and balanced trade deal by the end of October 2022.

India and UK to strengthen defence ties; conclude free trade agreement by October
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson inspecting the guard of honour during his ceremonial reception at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India on April 22, 2022. Photograph: Rajeev Bhatt

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, set October as the deadline for finalising free trade negotiations, as well as announcing an enhanced defence partnership that includes easier access to British military hardware and technology.

The UK Prime Minister visited India on the invitation of India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, from April 21 to 22, 2022. He was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, where he was greeted by Modi. PM Boris then paid a visit to Raj Ghat to lay a wreath and honour Mahatma Gandhi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Hyderabad House (official venue for bi-lateral engagements) prior to the delegation level talks on various issues and signing of MoUs in New Delhi India on April 22, 2022. Photograph: Rajeev Bhatt