Let me show you two pictures. The first is Boris Johnson who became the first British prime minister to visit the Sabarmati Ashram from where Gandhi led his struggle. He is the first UK PM to visit Gujarat after 1947. In the other picture, Boris Johnson can be seen waving from an excavator during his visit to the bulldozer factory in Vadodara.
Johnson can be credited for being an architect for setting India-UK relations alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two prime ministers had pledged to achieve a “quantum leap” in bilateral relations. They focused on enhanced trade partnership to at least double the trade. This had become the starting point for the FTA negotiations.
India UK relationship can be analysed from Johnson’s statement that he delivered during his India visit, “India is an incredible rising power in Asia, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India is our biggest partner in the Indo-Pacific,” which he termed as the geopolitical centre of the world.
However, there are no constants in the world of geopolitics. With the change of regime, the foreign policy drifts and the same might be witnessed in the India-UK partnership prospects as well.
After Johnson announced the end of his innings at 10 Downing Street, India hoped that the resignation of Johnson will not impact its relationship with the UK. As both the countries share a close multifaceted partnership. However, that doesn’t looks to be happening now with the recent misadventure of UK Home secretary Suella Braverman.
Suella Braverman- Indian origin minister who abused Indians
Suella Braverman, an Indian-origin British home secretary, who replaced Priti Patel, had claimed that a trade deal with India would increase migration to the United Kingdom.
While speaking in an interview, Braverman abused Indians. She had shamelessly accused Indians of being the worst visa overstayers. Her unsolicited comments about Indians staying in the UK had the potential to torpedo the FTA.
Contrary to the popular practice, Braverman has asserted that ‘her skin colour doesn’t dictate her ideology.’ What further added oil to the fire is Braverman’s statement that she was proud of the British Empire and she would not apologise for the empire, for the history that she claims to be her’s too. Well, she has said nothing wrong. Why would anyone apologise for killing thousands in famines manufactured by them?
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Suella’s anti-India stand cost her dearly
The Conservative government was on the verge of collapse since the day Liz Truss took charge. Braverman’s parents were of Indian origin who migrated to the UK in the 1960s. Being a politician, she had unequivocally defended British colonialism and taken an unnecessary stand on migration.
However, it seems that all of this has cost her dearly as she has been sacked by the British government. But Braverman, who has become the shortest serving home secretary since 1834 with a 43-day tenure, has not gone quietly. She has said that she had breached government rules. Braverman has put her resignation letter on the micro blogging site Twitter.
My letter to the Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/TaWO1PMOF2
— Suella Braverman MP (@SuellaBraverman) October 19, 2022
To sugar-coat, Braverman has cited “technical infringement of rules” pertaining to an email she had sent to a “trusted parliamentary colleague” as the reason for her resignation, accepting that she had committed a mistake.
Although the sugar-coating has been attempted by the British government as well as Braverman herself, it is clear that she had to leave the job after backpedalling furiously on her anti-Indian statement.
Braverman spews venom in the resignation letter as well
Toeing her initial line, Braverman in her resignation letter reminded the Truss government of the promises done to the voters. She wrote in her letter that she has concerns for the direction in which the government is heading.
Reminding the government of their pledges, Braverman accused it of breaking key pledges made to the party members and the voters. She said, “I have serious concerns about this government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments, such as reducing overall migration numbers and stepping illegal migration, particularly the dangerous small boat crossings.”
She has mentioned that there is needed special attention on the immigration policy twice in her letter. However, her efforts serve no function as Liz Truss has herself resigned from the post.
Liz Truss resigns from the PM post
We, at our international arm TFIGlobal, had predicted in September itself that Liz Truss would be out soon. And within 45 days of grabbing power, Liz Truss has resigned. This makes her 45-day tenure the shortest in Britain’s history. The reason cited here is the economic programme introduced by her, which proved to be a disaster that roiled the market, enhanced the cost of living and left most of her party members in rage.
However, this was just the breaking point and the conservative MPs were never in favour of Truss. Her economic policy has been a disaster as what she favoured was minimising taxes in an already struggling UK economy. A policy which had the potential to create a serious cash flow problem. With Liz Truss gone, its once again space for Rishi Sunak to make his bid, as the conservative party looks to elect its new PM by October 28.
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The shaking Britain that was once invincible
The resignation of Braverman marked the second departure of a senior minister in Liz Truss’s cabinet in less than a week. Earlier, Kwasi Kwarteng was removed as the finance minister. The former coloniser is currently witnessing problems of all types, be it political or economic.
Since the 2008 recession, the UK’s economy has been in doldrums and the growth rate has completely stagnated. To further deepen its problem, the UK participated in the sanctions’ war against Russia on the directions of the US. This has further dilapidated its state. To further aggravate the problem, Truss has been slashing down taxes as there is no tomorrow.
The Conservatives have done a favour to themselves by letting go of Liz Truss. She was hell bent on spreading her ideas that would have been proven to be catastrophic for the British financial system.
The political landscape of the UK has become a complete mess and the change of leadership in such frequent intervals is further adding to it. It would be good for the UK if the conservatives this time select a cabinet that would not hamper the India-UK relations further, unlike Braverman. Else, the UK might lose its strategic partner in the Indi-pacific.
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