If Britain chooses to leave the European Union (EU), the decision could open up wider opportunities for India, a recent report from the State Bank of India has claimed. While the report also noted that it would become easier for India to negotiate with the EU if it did not have to deal with the rules of EU membership.
According to The Economic Times, SK Ghosh, chief economic advisor at the State Bank of India, said: "UK has an expertise in cyber security and its military technology is still competitive. This can become the point of convergence under Make in India. Hence, UK may very well be compensated for the loss of market in EU by the gains in India."
The report from the State Bank of India comes as UK Employment Minister Priti Patel has also claimed a Brexit will boost British-India relations. The Indian-origin minister said that Britain's EU membership has "acted as a barrier" to developing trade and investment partnerships between the UK and India.
Echoing the recent views from the State Bank of India, Patel said in February: "Voting to leave the European Union would be a massive boost to UK-India relations. New opportunities for the UK and India to cooperate more closely and develop stronger trading links would emerge as the UK re-aligns its foreign policy and trade priorities."
Patel also said at the time that a Brexit would have a positive impact on Indians living in Britain, with EU nationals no longer getting special treatment over Indian immigrants. She stressed that Indians with businesses in the UK would be able to establish better trade deals with Indian-based organisations should Britain leave the EU.
However, not all British-Indians agreed with Patel and the State Bank of India's views on a Brexit. In April, a group of British-Indians launched a cross-party campaign to keep Britain in the EU, highlighting the impact the British-Indian community could have on the outcome of the referendum.
MP Alok Sharma, Prime Minister David Cameron's infrastructure envoy to India, said: "With more than a million eligible voters in the upcoming referendum, British-Indians could prove to have a decisive say in our future relationship with Europe. British-Indians are outward-looking internationalists, which is why so many of us believe that Britain's place belongs in the EU, where we are leading the agenda for reform."