Accessibility links

Breaking News

British Leader Visits India with Eyes on Post-Brexit Trade

India Britain: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, centre, is welcomed by an official upon her arrival at the Palam airport in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has arrived in India for her first bilateral engagement outside Europe since taking office in July.

Accompanied by a delegation of small and medium-size business leaders, May will meet her counterpart Narendra Modi and address industrialists at the start of a two-day visit to the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Although Britain cannot sign any bilateral trade deals until it has left the European Union -- most likely in 2019 -- May's visit is seen as a signal that Britain is already seeking new economic partners.

May is expected to face some tough demands while in New Delhi. India will want May to welcome more of its students and skilled workers, and that would require an unlikely U-turn from the tough line she has taken on immigration.

A number of commercial deals are due to be signed during the India visit, including in manufacturing and high-tech electronics manufacturing.

May will also travel to the Indian tech capital Bengaluru on Tuesday and visit manufacturing plants before flying back to London.