Rahul Gandhi holds talks with UK Opposition leaders

Rahul Gandhi holds talks with UK Opposition leaders

FILE PHOTO: Rahul Gandhi speaks at an event in Singapore March 8, 2018. Picture taken March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has held talks with leading Opposition party leaders from Britain on issues ranging from visa hurdles faced by Indians and the impact of Brexit.

Gandhi, who was accompanied by his delegation of Congress MPs, highlighted that the fallout of Brexit could increase inequality and youth unemployment.

Gandhi arrived in the UK on Friday on a two-day visit.

"The Congress president and Labour leadership discussed bilateral, regional and global developments of shared concerns. These included issues of unemployment, growing protectionism, trade wars and the threat to rule-based international order," a Congress party statement said.

He also referred to concerns over visas for Indian professionals and students, following changes in UK visa policy and the fall in the number of Indian students in the UK since the closure of an older post-study work route.

"He said India has made a huge intellectual investment in the UK and the contribution of Indian doctors and nurses to the NHS is immense. Nothing should be done to hinder the movement of professionals," the Congress statement said, adding that both the country's Opposition parties attach special significance to the special relationship and strategic partnership between UK and India and will work to strengthen it.

The UK’s Labour Party was represented by UK Shadow Secretary for International Trade and Climate Change Barry Gardiner, Shadow leader of the House of Commons Valerie Vaz, Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Minister of Foreign Commonwealth Office Gareth Thomas, Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland Stephen Pound and Shadow Minister for International Development Preet Kaur Gill.

They were also joined by Rajesh Agarwal, the Deputy Mayor of London, and other senior officials at the meeting at Labour Party Headquarters on Friday.

Both sides also expressed concerns over the threats of terrorism and forces of violence to stability and peace. They acknowledged the value of the UK-India Economic partnership, including growing investments and technology cooperation. 

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