Lauding the strides made by India in the fields of economy, science and technology, a British minister has said his government’s effort now is not how to stop Indians coming over to Britain, but how to prevent talented, educated graduates of Indian origin leaving the UK to work in their homeland.
“Our focus is not how to stop Indians coming over here, but how to prevent talented educated graduates of Indian origin leaving the UK to work in India. This is a complex challenge we face,” Britain’s Minister for Immigration and Asylum Tony McNulty said here at a reception hosted by the labour friends of India.
“I get asked, how many more people will come to this country? I say, as many as we need to face up to the future challenges of the UK economy,” he said at the function organised on the fringe of the Labour Party’s annual conference at Brighton on Tuesday.
At the reception 35 of Tony Blair’s ministerial team committed to engage with India, with the Home Secretary Charles Clarke, MP, praising, in an unprecedented manner, the need to work in close partnership for the security and prosperity of the people of India and Britain. Several leaders lauded India for its progress in the fields of economy, science and technology.
The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Kamalesh Sharma said, “there is no area in which there is a more natural and promising partnership than the India and UK. All Indians should regard themselves as ambassadors for all that they can contribute to bridge building between the two countries.”
In his keynote address, Clarke said, “it is important to ensure that a modern and true image of India is portrayed to younger generations.”
Referring to the July 7 terrorist strikes in London, the Home Secretary said “I would like to pay tribute to the way in which all faiths worked together. Individual leaders came together to say that they stand by a pluralistic community and society, which they want to defend.”
He said in a world of change it is difficult to hold firm to our values. There are threats, but “I request you all to hold firm to the values the Indian community has espoused for a long time—respect and the need to work with others.”
Referring to the partnership in science and technology between India and the UK, Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation said, “the UK and India have a common agreement regarding sustainable economic development, the importance of which is recognized by both countries, and is paramount as this will in turn raise the quality of lives in both countries.”
Stephen Pound, MP, chairman, Labour Friends of India, in his opening remarks reminded the 200-strong audience comprising Labour MPs, peers, members of the European Parliament, councillors and other prominent persons of “the immediacy with which Britain has to decide to either compete or collaborate with India.”
Prominent among those present at the function included Lord Swaraj Paul, NRI industrialist, Peter Hain, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales among others.