Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Disappointing that Straw is distorting the words of the Indian Prime Minister

The press release issued by Vote Leave on 12 November 2015.

Responding to BSE Executive Director Will Straw’s assertion that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that ‘Britain is stronger, safer, and better off’ in the EU, Vote Leave Communications Director Paul Stephenson said:

“Prime Minister Modi made clear that the UK is India’s most important ally in Europe. We have good reasons to believe that this will continue to be the case if we left the EU.

The EU has consistently failed to get a free trade deal with India – when we Vote Leave this will be much easier to achieve.

It is disappointing that Will Straw is distorting the words of the Indian Prime Minister during an official visit to this country.”

Key stats on UK-India trade

In 2014, India sold the UK £1.576 billion more than the UK sold India. If the UK leaves the EU, it will be in India’s interest to trade on as favourable terms with the UK as possible (Source: ONS, Pink Book 2015, link).

Over the last decade, the total value of trade between the UK and India has increased by £14.058 billion in cash terms, or by 156% (Source: ONS, Pink Book 2015, link).

The EU has failed to negotiate a free trade deal with India. Negotiations started in 2007 but show no sign of concluding (Source: BBC, link).

According to a 2013 EY survey, ‘companies in Asia are even more positive about renegotiating the UK’s relationship with the EU. Fully two-thirds (66%) of Asian respondents say a lower degree of EU integration would make the UK a more attractive location for FDI, against 25% who think it would make the UK less attractive’ (Source: EY, (2013), p. 35, link).

What Will Straw said:

“India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is the latest in a string of world leaders to say that Britain is stronger, safer, and better off in Europe. President Obama, President Xi Jinping, and now the Indian Prime Minister have all unambiguously underlined the value to the UK economy of our place in the EU.

Not only is Europe a crucial springboard for Britain to trade with countries like India, but nearly half of the UK’s trade goes to other EU countries and more than 3 million jobs in Britain are linked to our trade with other EU countries. Why would we risk all of that by leaving?”

What Prime Minister Modi said:

“As far as India is concerned, if there is an entry point for us to the EU, that is the UK and that is Great Britain. If we have economic co-operation with any country, then the economic co-operation is with the UK. Yes, we are going to other EU countries as well, but we will continue to consider the UK as our entry point into the EU.

The United Kingdom is the third largest investor in India behind Singapore and Mauritius. India is the third largest source of Foreign Direct Investment projects in the United Kingdom. Indians invest more in Britain than in the rest of the European Union combined. It is not because they want to save on interpretation costs, but because they find an environment that is welcoming and familiar.”