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Should Britain forge closer ties with India?

17:41 UK time, Tuesday, 27 July 2010

David Cameron has held talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the final day of his trip. How important are relations between the two countries?

Speaking after their meeting the Indian prime minister said his country and Britain could work together to change the world, and that the two nations could take great strides in the global battles against poverty, terrorism and the effects of climate change.

India's growing economy and key role in the G20 means that it is emerging as an important international player on the global stage.

Are you in India? How has David Cameron's visit been perceived? How important are relations between Britain and India? What do you think each country has to offer the other?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Closer ties ?
    Is that spin term for selling British jobs down the road....
    Crisis in the UK.. What Crisis ?

  • Comment number 3.

    Britain should try and forge closer ties with any friendly nation.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    I would say that relations are pretty important for the Indians who trouser £250 million PA in UK aid whilst planning to spend billions on their space program.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Is he fighting for India to join the EU?

  • Comment number 9.

    "India's growing economy and key role in the G20 means that it is emerging as an important international player on the global stage"

    Well, if that's the case, why do we keep giving India millions of £££ in foreign aid? Millions of £££ that we could do with ourselves, right now, given the state of the UK finances.

    Forge closer ties if you want Dave, but for goodness sake, stop giving them money that we don't actually have.

  • Comment number 10.

    Should Britain forge closer ties with India?
    It's not a matter of "should", but a matter of willingness. I can see what Britain has to gain, by way of pumping up trade with its huge trade delegation, but what does India have to gain?
    The relationship between Britain and India could have been important - close - but India now sees the "lock-step"; India knows that to accept Britain is to accept the United States - symbiosis.
    So on what will the UK premier forge his "special relationship"? What is there to offer?
    India's economy is growing; daily her importance increases - while Britain remains bogged in American policies.
    Relations between Britain and India are far more important to Britain than to India. In fact, India has much more to gain be turning her face east.

  • Comment number 11.

    What happens to the closest ties they forged over hundred years ago? I cannot understand why they need another closer tie.

  • Comment number 12.

    Should Britain forge closer ties with India?

    You mean "Mr Cameron will be giving India more aid and sending more work off shore?"

    India was granted independence which was what the people wanted let it stay that way.

  • Comment number 13.

    Closer ties-very pro business. Export of the few remaining British jobs to a cheaper labor market.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well its only right he visits the call centre staff .

  • Comment number 15.

    My mother was brought up in Burma (Myama) when it was still the Jewel in the Crown and not destroyed by the current administration. After the Japanese invaded she was a refugee in India where she served with the British Intelligence service on the Ultra Secret (where she met my father).

    She has written a book of her very ordinary family and their very ordinary lives in the East - not part of the British Raj, but like many people, just ordinary working people with friends from every culture. My grandfather ran a garage.

    At her school her friends included Japanese, Burmese, Indians, Chinese, French, Irish, English, Scottish, Australian .... and so on.

    Away from the politics, away from the stupidity of some of the Elite of the British and Indian Raj (it was not just the English that were on the make), the British and the various people in India had far more in common than not.

    Many years later my brother hitch hiked through India. In one out of the way place (most of India is out of the way) he stayed in a small guest house - the first English person they had seen for years. The old owner of the guest house proudly dug out the old guest book and insisted my brother signed it. The previous signature was dated 1947. The old man pointed out that he missed doing business with the British - they were good customers!

    Doing business in India is so screamingly obvious that I am amazed we have not done more. So many Indians speak English (which they use as their common language across peoples, cultures and the multitude of languages and dialects), they like doing business with us and they like the way we do business.

    Lets go and make money together!

    (And please - can we have some PROPER curries over here in the UK!!)

  • Comment number 16.

    Trade delegation to India ? Are UK going to focus on the fanufacturing industry in future ? Everything in the latest years have gone towards a bigger and bigger privat service sector, but the problem with that is that is impossible to export from the private service sector.

  • Comment number 17.

    How much closer can we get?? Indian call centres, Indian blood analyists,
    Indian Computer Programmers... and that's just in India.
    Never mind the thousands here...

  • Comment number 18.

    Apparently important enough to disadvantage British citizens while supporting India's nuclear and space programmes by supplying "aid".

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that Cameron will kowtow to any developing country that will promise to lend him a kilo or 2 of gold.

  • Comment number 19.

    Britain should get up off its arse and sort itself out,when it says 'Should Britain forge closer ties with India?' It means dodgy deals,sell arms,or go to war. India is a respectful country,since it was given independence, we already have good ties with it, we should be building our country up. We need a new government,we need to go bankrupt and start again,not owing the EU,UN or the Rothschild families banks anything,we need to also come out of Europe,trade with them yes but not be a member. We need to rebuild our steel industry,we have hundreds of years of coal remaining,we keep finding gold and minerals we could mine in the UK,we can build ships,fleets,we have excellent work ethic (had and could have again), Our education system could be excellent again if we got strict again. We have So much potential,we have skilled workers,we dont need foreign workers, if we keep relying on them, this country will just turn in to another state of the EU super states :(

    Did you know being a member of europe means,The EU owns all Europes countries gold,
    The Rothschilds own just about all countries in the worlds banks,therefore controlling governments
    The EU control our armies,which is why we cant leave Afghanistan, and also our military cant get too big(all EU countries)

    I can go on but not many listen or care

  • Comment number 20.

    Closer ties? Has anyone tried to phone a call centre recently?

  • Comment number 21.

    Definitely. Pity we gave the place independence in the 1940s; if we still owned it we'd be much better placed to profit from it. And it wouldn't have nuclear weapons. Neither would Pakistan - we owned that too. And why did we let the Americans off the leash? All we own now is a few piddly little islands which are more trouble than they're worth. Is the world really a better place than it was when we had an empire?


    Your empire of ball by the colonizer. In it anything good isn't present?
    England always was the barbarous state. It colonized the earths which didn't belong to it. So that you shouldn't cry for another's freedom. And as to the nuclear weapon so destroy at first the (it to you all the same it is not necessary, anybody to attack you isn't going to), and then demand the same from others.

  • Comment number 22.

    UK workers won't be able to compete fairly for jobs until companies have to pay higher wages in countries like China and India.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think we're close enough.

    I wonder what Mr Cameron will suggest here?

    That we could possibly run call centres for Indian businesses in the UK?

    The possibility that if you're working in India for a UK company and get laid off, we'll send them benefits? Just to save the bother of coming here of course.

    Seriously the only topic of any real interest to the UK is what goods and services we can sell them.

  • Comment number 24.

    Wow, so much love flowing from the Brits towards India!

    I didnt know we had harmed you in any way except filling up your coffers a long time ago, fortune which you seem to still be living off.

    As for the AID

    Get your facts clear --- We didnt ask for any unlike your govt that comes begging for "investment"

    Dont wanna deal with us.... Good stay on that puny little island of your's.

    You aint got anything I'd like to buy anyways.


  • Comment number 25.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Of course.
    I thought we had a close relationship as a result of the Commonwealth.

  • Comment number 28.

    There is and should always be a special place in Britain for India given their history as part of the commonwealth and their massive contribution throughout many wars on behalf of the old empire.

    India is growing at a rapid pace and the UK has so much expertise to offer to help them develop in a sustainable and healthy manner.

    I am completely for healthy India relations.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have worked in the IT industry for a long time and I'd just like to point out to those who only equate India with Indian restaurants (which by the way are generally Bangladeshi owned ie not by Indians)or Bollywood, that India's educational system is producing extremely large numbers of highly competent well educated graduates, especially relevant to the modern high tech industries. We should also remember, and only as an example, that TATA is an extremely large world competitive conglomerate that bought Jaguar and Landrover from a very large but ailing Western conglomerate ie Ford. These is just a single example but still very representative of the World class industries that are fast developing in India. As a consequence of this there is an rapidly increasing number of sophisticated and affluent 'middle class' consumers who are a significant potential market for externally produced products and services. The U.K. by and large might has lost a large proportion of its traditional 'heavy' industries however although we don't hear enough about them we still has some of the most innovative world beating exporting industries. U.K. companies therefore must view India along with the other 'BRIC' countries as huge markets presenting very significant and growing opportunities to actively engage with otherwise this country will ultimately spiral downwards and become an inward looking low economy, low potenial, back water.

  • Comment number 30.

    India is a huge market and we'd be foolish to ignore it.

    To all the isolationists: just see how your standard of living would fall if you stopped using things manufactured abroad, and see how it would fall further if we did not sell our own services and products abroad.

    Trade is beneficial for both parties.

  • Comment number 31.

    look you brits and americans better get this into your dumb heads---your govrnment wont tell you the truth. you are done ecomically--period.there is no hope, especially for britain.someone mentioned the corus disaster-thnk god tata bought it--presvered some jobs in the uk for sometime--long term it will move to india as will jaguar and manuy to weeelcome to third world status!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    What to expect from the visit -

    1. Pakistan (a vital country to keep on side on side on the Afghan front) gets mightily pee'd off with UK, on account of their natural animosity for India. We weaken contact with an important regional nation in the fight against terrorism.

    2. More jobs go to India - Tata Steel does not reopen the Redcar Steel Plant. (Redcar people - bit of a shot-in-foot exercise when you voted the Lib-Dem in - you wont do that again, will you).

    3. On way back, Scameron decides to learn the Turkish for 'Of course you'll all be welcome here when you join the EU' (Nice cheap workforce for his tory friends).

    4. Immigration gets out of control - in direct contrast to a 'sort of oh why play with numbers' attitude to immigration control. (which we cant prevent if Turkey joins EU).

    So nothing really positive apart from another demonstration of how short sighted politcal capital attempts will potentially deliver no long term use.

    Dave, come home before you do any more damage, will you?

  • Comment number 33.

    BBC it is so boring to read comment after comment ad nauseum of people talking about call centers and india joining the EU. Enough! Only original comments please!!!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    I think if Great Britain would fare better if Cameron focus on relationship with China since China is more advanced and wealthier than India. Either way there will job losses and relocation of companies due to cheap labour. I can bet Cameron won't get anything from India unless they can get more aid and immigration privileges.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm not bothered either way , but there's no harm in the Prime Minister touring the world if it keeps him out of trouble.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    as long as Cameron does not give India any more financial aid. Any country that can afford nuclear weapons and a space programme, while millions starve because of the caste system already has too much money

  • Comment number 38.

    I have worked with many Indians in the oil industry in SE Asia. They are more like us than the Americans. They have table manners for a start. If there is one thing that the empire has given our old colonies it is table manners. Have you ever seen an American eating? This, and arriving late for two world wars, taking all the credit and charging us for 40 years, should have put us on guard. India has never let us down, in both wars, and we left the infrastructure for a great power that will soon overtake the hamburger eaters. Who could possibly argue against having Chinese and Indian world domination within the next 10 years on a table manner and food front? Why even we British started Hard Rock Cafe so that we could practice eating our entire meal with a fork.
    We should be courting all our old colonies, get out of Europe and dump the US and it's corrupt two/three/four faced president and his cronies. At least the formal banquets, to cement ties, would allow use of all the the cutlery.

  • Comment number 39.

    Apparently important enough to disadvantage British citizens while supporting India's nuclear and space programmes by supplying "aid".

    What AID are we talking about again?

    BBC you are a farse! Cant you please tell your ignorant populace that we have not taken any "Brit" money & are infact the second biggest investors in your bankrupt country?

  • Comment number 40.

    Is it just me or is anyone else tired of the expression, 'special relationship'. Is this something Cameron has said or is it just something made up by a journalist? If we do form a special relationship with India does that mean that we have a less than special relationship with some other nation, or perhaps we have a special relationship with everybody........which is exactly the same as having a special relationship with nobody. Will our special relationship with USA suffer if we now form a special relationship with someone else?

  • Comment number 41.

    I have not laughed as much and long as I did with many of the very funny comments which I found hilarious especially 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 26, 32, 35.
    And I still haven't stopped laughing. My lungs are now aching from uncontrollable laughter.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Previous comment - Definitely. Pity we gave the place independence in the 1940s; if we still owned it we'd be much better placed to profit from it. And it wouldn't have nuclear weapons. Neither would Pakistan - we owned that too. And why did we let the Americans off the leash? All we own now is a few piddly little islands which are more trouble than they're worth. Is the world really a better place than it was when we had an empire?
    Ah yes, the empire. Just to put the record straight, we never did 'own' India, or Pakistan. It's a very strange concept, that of owning a foreign country. And we also owned America as well, did we? I think you'll find that all that really happened was that at a certain point in history Britain had the most advanced technologies, firepower and weapons which allowed us to roam the globe claiming bits of land for Queen and country. It seems that all you have to do is to land on some distant shore, stick a flag in the sand and by some miracle that land mass becomes your property.
    You ask, 'Is the world really a better place than it was when we had an empire?'. I'm sure that as a Brit you may well believe everything was better then - I'm not so sure the indigenous peoples of all the countries we colonised would agree with you. I think that perhaps forming this 'special relationship' with India might be a shrewd move by Cameron. The boot could so easily be on the other foot. In 20 years time it will be India who has the better technologies, firepower and weaponry - we really don't want them arriving and sticking thier flag on Dover beach, do we.

  • Comment number 44.

    39. At 00:36am on 28 Jul 2010, whatever wrote:
    Apparently important enough to disadvantage British citizens while supporting India's nuclear and space programmes by supplying "aid".
    What AID are we talking about again?
    BBC you are a farse! Cant you please tell your ignorant populace that we have not taken any "Brit" money & are infact the second biggest investors in your bankrupt country?
    Well, actually, that's not true. Uk government has pledged to give 850 million pounds in overseas aid over the next three years. No doubt in the shady world of international politics this was linked to any number of investment deals etc. I do not doubt your figures about Indian investment but yes, we are giving India aid.

  • Comment number 45.

    Once again Cameron is romancing a country who treats it's citizens terribly and would rather spend it's money on space flight than on food for it's own people.

    We really should not be doing business with countries like this but the Tories are always about money so I'm sure he'll give his usual, tired old speech about having stronger financial ties.

    The Tories shipped most of our jobs off to India starting in the 1980's so the Tories have already shown their committment to helping the Indian economy at the expense of our own.

  • Comment number 46.

    Yes, but don't outsource all your white-collar jobs to India like the US did. That is partially why the unemployment rate here is high.

  • Comment number 47.

    A good point was made in one of the comments above - while Cameron is off on his world tour he can do no more harm over here although we do have mini-Cameron (Clegg) in his place. Wow, it's depressing to be British these days. Maybe we can make the place less depressing if we send all the Tories and the new Tories (Liberals) to India permanently ? I think most taxpayer's would agree for us to use taxpayer's money to buy the tickets.

  • Comment number 48.

    Uk government has pledged to give 850 million pounds in overseas aid over the next three years

    pittance, keep it! we dint ask for it in the first place.

  • Comment number 49.

    How far and big do we expand the world economy which is just a further bubble waiting to burst, along with its shadowing unsustainable population.

    It seems to me that we are more and more abandoning our own ability to sustain ourselves for cheap profit.

    At the moment, India has MASSIVE advantage of trade over UK.

    While Indian businesses are allowed to buy in and up UK businesses there are MANY MANY trade barriers for the reverse. We have been disadvantaged for many many years when it comes to trade with India.

    It's as if Cameron is crawling on his knees, as he travels around the world, saying whatever to appease and please those he sees.

    This is desperation, it just further shows what a desperate situation we are actually in, in the UK.

    Once, we were the ones that could do favours with trade to help other nations, now it has reversed. We have given up so much so easily and are desperately reliant on so many others now just for daily/weekly sustainability.

    Cameron actually reminds me of Oliver "please sir, can I have some more".

    It is highly embarassing that our nation is in such a position that our Prime Minister has need of such behaviour.

    It is also blatantly and serious a terrible predicament that we are in, while so many in the UK have so little understanding of the TRUE reality and just carry on with their narrow minded lives while our nation gradually falls like a deck of cards around them.

    At what point will people come to realise the true severity of our national situation and decline.

    People stomp their feet at losing jobs, but they miss the WHOLE point that we are LOSING our nation.

    When expenditure cuts bite in and VAT rises and crime rises and unemployment greatly increases again, thats when it will start to kick off, and people will blame government for their own stupid niave selfishness of failing to previously stand up to attrocious government and basically accept bribary of decades of unaffordable and unsustainable political carrots. Even now, the NHS demands more and more monetry blood sustinance for every new development of medication or treatment. It's like a vampire, all else is forsaken to appease the NHS.

    So much expenditure which is desperately needed for our education and investment in wealth growth is just abandoned so the NHS can get its fix.

    The carrots have run out, the ONLY remaining carrot top is the NHS, Thatcher sold the silver, Brown sold the gold, whats left is a few scraps surrounding our jewel in the crown which is public services. They too are being manipulated as offerings to the private sector, mainly big foreign healthcare companies will eventually end up controlling the NHS, however the government tarts up their policys and says it will never happen.

    I should think that Camerons trip and conversations has much to do with TATA, who are more likely than not going to pull the plug on much of its UK productivity and shift it elsewhere.

    There are words that were spoken by an Indian, someone high up in TATA.

    He stated that Land Rover and Jaguar and steel work would remain in Britain if Britain still wants to do car manufacturing etc.

    Translated, I take this to means either, UK government/taxpayer subsidy for TATA UK plants & modernisation, or LOWER UK wages, or both, whatever, it will cost the UK in some way or another.

    Thats the deals being done, thats where we are at, literally begging foreigner owners to maintain what little remains of our once world beating industrys, which for the most part we no longer control or have majority interest in.

    Funny, isnt it, we are spending £billions on wind farms, yet our UK plant is closed and ALL the money goes abroad.

    Funny isnt it, we plan to build many many nuclear powerstations but do not manufacture the MAJORITY of the parts we need to build them.

    Funny isnt it, that ANY or MOST of the money which is directly invested in so much of the very fabric of our nation and supposidly its sustainability, NOW hugely supplements other countrys employees/jobs/profits, because we surrendered our ability to manufacture/provide via pretending that if we played more fair, then others would.

    Such a policy does NOT take account of LONG memorys, of that which we previously inflicted/imposed upon other nations and which has NOT been forgotten, though this will mainly be denied in public, especially by those who now hold the main top trump economic cards.

  • Comment number 50.

    39. At 00:36am on 28 Jul 2010, whatever wrote:
    Apparently important enough to disadvantage British citizens while supporting India's nuclear and space programmes by supplying "aid".
    What AID are we talking about again?
    BBC you are a farse! Cant you please tell your ignorant populace that we have not taken any "Brit" money & are infact the second biggest investors in your bankrupt country?
    Well, actually, that's not true. Uk government has pledged to give 850 million pounds in overseas aid over the next three years. No doubt in the shady world of international politics this was linked to any number of investment deals etc. I do not doubt your figures about Indian investment but yes, we are giving India aid.
    pittance, keep it! we dint ask for it in the first place.
    Alternatively you could have said, 'I'm sorry, I was misinformed, I did not know that'. You may not have personally asked for the money but clearly somebody did. If it is such a pittance, as you suggest then perhaps your country would like to return it - I'll not hold my breath.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    Uk government has pledged to give 850 million pounds in overseas aid over the next three years
    Form 'Whatever' - pittance, keep it! we dint ask for it in the first place.
    It may well be a pittance but from a population of only 61 million it actually represents 14.16 pounds per head of population. I do accept that if that money were spread equally amongst Indias 1,166 million population it is only 72p per person.
    If your government were to give our government the same amount, pro rata, that is 14.16 pounds per head of population that would actually raise over 16,500 million pounds which spread equally amongst British population would be over 270 pounds each. Since it is, as you say, a pittance we await your governments cheque by return of post.

  • Comment number 53.

    The UK Premier is more than welcome to India only if he carries the Indian Kohinoor and hands it over to where it belongs.

  • Comment number 54.

    Dump one "special relationship", and start another. Watch out, India! They'll spurn you, too.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    Maybe as part of the new "special relationship" India could hand over 90% of it's jobs to our economy like we did to them during the last time the Tories were in power ?

  • Comment number 57.

    The question is .. What will India gain by having ties with a country like Britain? Why should India give money to Britain in the name of some deal which r of no use to India???

    I am more interested in the visit of head of Burma Junta. Atleast we will have a chance of getting something back in dealing with Burma (like natural gas etc) .. Britain don't have any mineral, nor its an IT powerhouse, nor any good weapons, nor any good pharmacy companies, nor a proper education system .. I see a total lose lose situation for India...

    No wonder y there is no talk abt this visit in Indian media.. Cos no ones interested in dealing with bankrupt country like Britain.

  • Comment number 58.

    Nice to see ignorance alive and well as usual on Have Your Say!

    What has India got going for it then? Its a regional power that will be able to match China for a start, and Indian's are able to learn English far quicker and better than many in China, which gives them an edge in international markets over China. The shared history and values help too. China only really got going after we gave back Hong Kong, still the richest part of China, but India is both democratic and capitalist.

    If this country is going to retain any semblance of influence internationally, so as to give us, the people, reason to be anti-EU, then relations with the US and India and all the former colonies is important. Its just about trade. Its not about outsourcing, its about market opportunity, and this is a big one. I am confident that we will do well as India grows and becomes a respected regional power, if not a future super-power. To be honest, I would rather see India take over from the US when their decline takes them off the top perch.

    We started all this back in the day, and it is fitting that the second English speaking superpower should be replaced with a third. If we can get Australia up there in 100 years, we could get a fourth, and then Canada a fifth. We exported our way of life and like any aging parent, we should be proud to see that way of life continuing for the foreseeable future. Nothing wrong with the swpan of England taking their turn, good for us, good for them, good for everyone.

    Go on Dave, do us proud!

  • Comment number 59.

    After reading all the comments about how Indians are increasing the unemployment in Britain, I would advise Britons to boycott anything that is made in India. We did the same about 100 years back when British machine made goods were causing mass unemployment and poverty in India. We didn't even have our own government then.
    As for the Indian space program, it is one of cheapest in the world. It has generated revenue by launching satellites for foreign clients( Scientific achievements of nation encourages it's children to take up science.
    Anyone who believes that aid given is without any expectations of returned favors does not understand foreign relations. UK needs India more than India needs UK. To be globally competitive you need to tap the Indian market.

  • Comment number 60.

    Am I the only person here who's actually been to India?

    Beautiful country, lovely people... However, it's a country of huge contrasts: there certainly is, in the cities, an astonishing rate of growth in hi-tech industries and education. However, the rest of the country (millions and millions of people) live in equally astonishing poverty. India's wealth doesn't seem to filter out to the people who need it most. (Actually, that sounds familiar: Britain's wealth doesn't either.)

    But to keep things in perspective, India's economy is such that, for all the lifestyle benefits the new industries offer, the average white collar wage is only around £3000 per year. Yes, that's not a misprint: three thousand. The average wage over India as a whole is only about £1200 a year. That means even the wealthy there wouldn't be able to survive more than a couple of months here. It also means that while we can buy their goods very cheaply, there isn't a single thing we could make and sell to them for a profit, as they couldn't afford to buy it at the price we set to cover our manufacturing costs (unless we outsourced the manufacturing to... India!).

    Clearly then, any "trade" with India is likely to be very much one way: stand by to see even more of our jobs outsourced, which will make a select few of Dave's mates a lot richer (which he will then claim as having made British companies more "successful"), and the rest of us even poorer.

  • Comment number 61.

    Last few HYS Summaries:
    Should Britain forge closer ties with India: No, David come back.
    Should Britain host Olympics: No, don't come to London.
    Should Britain send more troops to Afghanistan: No, we will wait for next 9/11.
    Do you Britons want to live in a submarine, shut out from the world?

  • Comment number 62.

    Closer ties with India ?
    How much closer can you get that the commonwealth?
    I hope Cameron's Grand tour is the continuance of NEW LABOUR'S JOLLIES


    Mind you I must admit New Labour's' jollies did increase our exports , Well at least in lead and high explosives

    Businessman and ,the cost quality of products sell exports ,more so than politicians..Surely Dave Cameron's Job is to repair the damage to last government did to UK manufacturing.. How ? by tackling the public sector Millstone burden" that hangs around the neck of UK manufacturing.

  • Comment number 63.

    I have always been moderately right wing (not extreme) and up until the last election have voted for the Tories, however I do not like one bit what I am seeing from this coalition at all.

    What the hell does Cameron think he’s up to? Let Turkey join the EU, Closer ties with India, junior partner to the US.

    All of these dumb down Britain and the British people, Can he not see that all of these proposals will cost British people what jobs we have left in this country.

    The last thing this country needs is yet more uncontrolled immigration flooding the country with more cheap labour, or maybe that’s what he does want so his mates can make even vaster profits at the expense of the people of this country.

    And yet again we have yet another prime minister swanning about all over the globe, (I had hoped we had seen the last of that).

    Dave, a word of advice. We in |Britain have massive problems,(Social, financial and economic) stop flying about all over the place and get back here and start doing the job you were elected to do IE put this country and its people first and foremost before any other.

    If you are not capable of doing that then just go, we here in the UK do not need yet another “World statesman” for a leader at this time, we want someone who has the guts to get to grips with our problems.

    The rest of the world will just have to wait for a change...

  • Comment number 64.

    This is code for more jobs going off shore. And as for Vince Cable, it's alright for you MATEY your not the one that will loose their job to someone coming to work from India. I was stupid I voted Conservative in the last election I might actually be voting Labour from now in. But Vince keep it up because the sooner this nasty little "CON-LIB" is gone and dumped in the skip the better..... I curse you Cameron and the rest of this grotty little Government!!!!!

  • Comment number 65.

    Closer ties with India? UK colonised tIndia and a lot of Indians live here so why have we lost the ties in the first place??????

  • Comment number 66.

    I am not in India and never will be unless of course my wages have to be low enough to compete with the appallingly low pay that they receive.

    It's a pity the government didn't see fit to send the biggest trade delegation in history into its own country.

    Roll on the next election.

  • Comment number 67.

    After reading the previous posts, I am extremely saddened to see that the average person's understanding of India is limited to curries, call centers or being economically backward. This needs to change; open your eyes to the world today, dear readers.
    IMO, one sad fact that seems to elude everyone is that India are not 'stealing' jobs just because they are cheaper there - India has a talent pool that is steadily growing while the UK are steadily losing out on talent.
    India has grown in all respects ever since Independence, and this is not something to scoff at - for a county that is home to billions of people and which started off as a developing nation, it has one of the fastest growing economies and talent in the world today. All the developed countries today have forged economic and business ties with India and this has benefited both parties.
    India is proud to have a space program, without relying on the technology of the other developed countries.
    Try governing a country with a population and demographic which is far, far, far bigger and more complex than the UK and you will come to know about the challenges involved.
    I think that forging (further) ties between the UK and India is a wise move by Mr. Cameron as he has obviously opened his eyes to reality - India is marching strongly ahead and he has decided to join the parade rather than watch from the sidelines.
    Way to go, Mr. Cameron - I already see the new government showing some promise.

  • Comment number 68.

    We have to be careful here, look what close ties with America has brought us, a U S President with nothing but contempt for a country which has stood by it through thick and thin. We shouldn't be looking for these silly 'special relationships' we should be looking out for number one, if that means trade deals with other countries then fine, but only if it will benefit the UK. I'm desperately trying to avoid anything with 'Made in India/China' on it, I don't particularly want another influx of cheap Indian tatty goods at the expense of british cheap tatty goods!

  • Comment number 69.

    Why such cynicism? The Prime Minister's visit is for improved trade relations. He's not going there for alms. Both countries have a lot to offer to each other. I'm personally looking forward to the outcome. A significantly stronger relationship between the two countries is highly overdue.

    PS I am appalled at the ignorance put on display here. Firstly, aid by Britain is not something given out of a spirit of charity. We should know what international aid is really all about, shouldn't we? And then, there is a lot of sneering at India's space programme. Apart from the fact that it makes a profit, advancement in Science should be a nation's priority, shouldn't it? I hope I didn't accidentally stumble upon BBC for the Pre-teen here?

  • Comment number 70.

    "Should Britain forge closer ties with India".

    What a silly topic for discussion. Is bringing out the xenophobes the only way to increase readership? You've certainly succeeded given the majority of comments above..

  • Comment number 71.

    41. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2010, Thoughful wrote:
    "I have not laughed as much and long as I did with many of the very funny comments which I found hilarious especially 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 26, 32, 35.
    And I still haven't stopped laughing. My lungs are now aching from uncontrollable laughter."

    Good ones, but personally #38 was the one that made tears of laughter stream down my face the most. Are British really this daft?

  • Comment number 72.

    Perhaps Mr Cameron is considering emigration. Having tried the US and failed he is now playing down market with a seriously cultured and challenging choice. I think India have seen his kind before. No chance, sadly for the UK.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think the flite to delhi arrived too late, maybe 10 years or so. India could've been a great partner to Britain in getting out of economic downturn more formidably like it did itself. The way civil nuclear deal has gone with USA, it's been more beneficial to USA i suppose than India, same could've been with Britain too.

  • Comment number 74.

    I am posting from India and I welcome David Cameron's visit to India. India and Britain have had a very close relationship even after India's independance. Britain is trusted in India much more than the US is.

    Britain has gained a lot from India during the colonial days because of which it became a wealthy developed country. India gained its basic infrastructure, defence, railways, education system and so on from the British rule. India also became one large united country mainly because of the British. It might otherwise have remained as several small disunited princely states. The english language has also been a great uniting factor. Unwittingly, Britain has done India quite a few favours, it seems....though they left it rather bankrupt when they left.

    India is today the 4th largest economy in the world (in PPP terms) and growing rapidly. It has a massive population of 1.1 billion with a 300 million middle class. With the current projected rate of growth (9%), many of the poor could come into the middle class within a few decades.

    India is also a vibrant democracy, secular with a large english speaking population. Majority Hindus are pluralistic and tolerant, passive and non violent. Yoga and curry (what exactly is that...we never have it in India!) have been its most popular exports.

    Britain inspite of being a small country with a relatively small economy, is still respected and yields considerable influence in the world. Its universities and science societies are well known. The British are famous for their engineering, planning and organising abilities.

    I think a special relationship is beneficial for both. Its a natural bond.



  • Comment number 75.

    At 11:32pm on 27 Jul 2010, Upemall wrote:
    We gave them jobs, we gave them homes, we gave them the chance to remain in India and have access to the most personal information through their call centres... What more contact can we have? Forced marriages!?
    Did you do it for some charity? There are enough countries to utilize India's services. Britain needs to outsource to India to cut costs and be globally competitive.

  • Comment number 76.

    I would consider India to be a good Asian country to be close friends with. It has a sound democracy and as a people they are highly intelligent. As a result of our historical colonial links we can claim to have added significantly to India's current prosperity. One only has to look at the Indian railway structure to prove that. Therefore the development of close trade links and bi-lateral investment is to be encouraged. But this should stop short of immigration to the UK from the Indian continent. I have no objection to controlled Indian skilled workers coming to the UK on contracts. But once these contracts are finished they should be made to return to India.

  • Comment number 77.

    I storngly believe that UK should have strong ties with India. They ruled us for good 200 years and build, what we can not after they left us. UK knows india better than any other country in the world. Those people who are against these ties should forget the past and think of better future. We can certainly buy lot of things which UK produce and can sell them what we produce. It's always give and take. The britons who think they should stop the aid (250 Million pounds) to India, i think they should better do it else you will tell the whole world that you have been feeding us.

  • Comment number 78.

    It is business. British people (just 50-60 years back) did very good business and built a big empire. They were also equipped with "weapons" useful in that time. Time.....Weapons have changed with time and business strategies too! What Indians are offering is a good business resources at good quality...which other countries will buy if not Britain/England. One of the "weapons" India has is a huge population with competitive knowledge at lower expectations. point in blaming Indians for doing good business which you were so proud of doing until recently! (I) Don't expect it from the Brits. Your forefathers were so industrious...learn from them.
    As far as India is concerned, it was doing well in the past as well. That was the reason Europeans were so attracted towards India. It has just started to gain confidence again. Hopefully it will continue doing so in years to come. It will have to be prudent to study the future "weapons" and business strategies. Any society that is ignorant towards changing times is left to "crying foul" as can be seen in many posts above.

  • Comment number 79.

    Of course, both the countries will benefit from friendship. I am surprised at the disrespect shown by Brits towards their prime minister. He is your "prime-minister" and I guess will know better than you. For logic behind his visit to India, read the news from around the world...don't be ignorant.

  • Comment number 80.

    I think there are only 2 kinds of people which are still living in past. One kind is extremist Islamic people & others are Brits. Brits are still in colonial era & their ignorance to present are shown in many comments over here.
    1) AID to India - You should know that all 850 M GBP are not coming to India but getting divided to many countries including China. And it will be childish to say that UK is doing charity by giving millions of pounds to any country. UK defiantly expects something in return.
    2) Unemployment in UK - Many are blaming India's cheap labor for this. But if that is the case then Nigeria or Somalia should be stealing jobs from entire world where cheap labor is available. So it is clear that, Indians are fit for the jobs & their fewer wedges are one of the factors to getting those jobs. UKs bankruptcy is more responsible for unemployment than Indians. And if you keep denying Indians more UK companies will go bankrupt because of heavy salaries & more unemployment.
    3) India's space program is India's pride & UK should not be jealous that in such a short time Indians have overtaken them in this field too. When Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi introduced computers to Indians the world has reacted like today u reacted on space program that 'When there are millions on hungry ppl why India needs Computer'. But now the same computer has given jobs to hundreds of young Indians & pulled them out of poverty.
    4) I feel UK has very less to offer to India in any field in today's visit. Actually it’s UK PM's desperate moves to get a share from Indian market which not only survived but grown when entire world economy has melted down. It looks like it is clear to UK PM now that he cannot rely on US for everything as US is more interested in recovering her own economy now.

  • Comment number 81.

    72. At 07:03am on 28 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    Perhaps Mr Cameron is considering emigration. Having tried the US and failed he is now playing down market with a seriously cultured and challenging choice. I think India have seen his kind before. No chance, sadly for the UK.


    Or, perhaps, he's touring the world apologizing for Blair and Brown?

  • Comment number 82.

    India should be very care full with British intentions under the guise to have good business relations with India!

    Watch out, British came few hundred years earlier to have business with India. Over the time, by creating the vast railway network in India, they looted all the resources of India. Britain prospered with all the loot from India & won two world wars on the back of a million-man army from India & Gorkhas of Nepal. (Free Oil from Iran)

    In just 60 years time, India is again becoming the old Golden Bird, Britain is again looking towards India (& Iran, also).

    India should be careful not to become “Jewel in the Crown” again.

  • Comment number 83.

    does cameron really thik Indian companys will come here? and have to pay real wages to workers, get taxed to death, when they can stay in India, and get cheap labor, virtually notaxes, Also how much did it cost us taxpayers for him taking contingincy of that size to India.

  • Comment number 84.

    The UK should build good relations with India, not only for trade. Hopefully, both democracies can help improve human rights situation in Burma.

  • Comment number 85.

    As long as this is not some excuse for more back door immigration, all well and good. As India develops I am sure many emigrants will want to return back to their roots, which will be good for the UK if it helps the population decrease to a more comfortable level.

  • Comment number 86.

    I lived in the UK for 4 yrs..studied films..worked..and came back.I would say the british allowed me to be happy in their country..i never had any bad experience but got smiles for 4 yrs..m heartly thankful to british..

    Now if Mr.cameron visiting my country i would be happy to welcome him..why there is so much criticism..He's been a leader for so many years..has travelled the world..met almost every leaders in the world..knows so many things which we ordinary people dont least let him try one more thing which may be helpful..if it doesnt help try something else but i m sure he is doing this for his people..he won't be selling his country at the end of the day..and always its better to have freinds than enemies.

    you are most welcome..!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    No problem with trying to having close ties with India. Let's face it, everyone hates us English, we're almost as unpopular as the Americans abroad so let's try to make friends. But...this visit is all about business and so many British jobs have been lost to business going abroad to countries like India. I have been a victim of this myself and find myself working abroad most of the time now.
    So stop giving our jobs away and stop making it easy for non-EU nationals going to the UK to take our jobs at unrealistic rates.
    Also, Britain should stop sending aid to India. This is obscene considering what the Indian government spends on nuclear weapons and their own space race.

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm just waiting for Mr Cameron to announce how we were junior partners to India in World War II.

  • Comment number 89.

    India's meteoric rise as an economic and world power has turned the tables somewhat. No longer is it viewed as a basket case but it is now courted for its technological strengths and expertise. Like China, India has shown stupendous growth and is a key player in trade as well as global economic issues. The British Prime Minister realises that India is attaining world economic status soon to surpass even the USA. He does not want to be caught napping! When you cannot beat them join them!

  • Comment number 90.

    Most Indian people I have met are very nice pleasant and gracious , this cannot be said for a number of Brtiish people who go abroad , its a shame that we cannot even write on hys without vitriol from both sides , come on people live and let live , what our ancestors did in the past should be in the past ...theirs and ours .we can blame our business folk for the jobs going out of the country....its for profit , they care not a jot about our country so we cannot blame India for that , if our silly pm ( i had such hopes for him ) is running around making gaffs we should have a word with no 10.

  • Comment number 91.

    My husband's employer has started further staff- training for managing "remote" workforces. Presumably this means talking to people down the phone, telling them how to do their jobs several thousand miles away. They have been doing it with Indian employees already; and I can say it's a confounded shambles. It is still outsourcing work, well away from desperate, local unemployed young British people. I like the Indian culture but "closer ties" has to mean jobs and career opportunities being supplied BOTH ways.

  • Comment number 92.

    It would be better if David Cameron forged closer ties with India and voted to keep Turkey out of the EU, India is becoming one of the top players in the international market, and would be of benefit to British industry, plus India is a member of the a British Commonwealth

  • Comment number 93.

    what happened to my comment, its disappeared

  • Comment number 94.

    One point to ponder when considering the relationship between Britain and India is that of language. The English language is in many ways also the Indian language. It is the ONLY language spoken everywhere in India, is the lanaguage of the Indian elite, is one of the main competitive advantages that India has over its rivals (why are there not Chinese call centres for example?) and in many ways is the glue holding the country together.

    Looking at it the other way around, of all the people alive right now on this little blue planet who can speak the English language, the biggest single number of any country is India. Indeed looking at the history of English, it became a global language through first the primacy of the British empire. It then continued its ascendency as the British empire declined beacuse of the simultaneous growth of American power. Now as America is in a period of relative decline in the world (and long term becoming more Spanish speaking) what emerging power could continue to promote the English lanaguge?

    Hint- think of an Anglophone run country that will soon have the largest population of all, that is a nuclear power, a space power, an emerging economic superpower, and is the offshore service centre of the world.

    Wouldnt it be a delicious historical irony if the colonised ended up being the saviours of the colonisers culture? It has happened before with the Romans and Greeks will this happen with Britain and India?

  • Comment number 95.

    David Cameron seems to be trying to get an empire back - nobody will be fooled it is self interest. He has already shocked the British people beyond belief and is ensuring the Conservatives will disappear for a very long time just the way the Liberals did over 70 years ago. I cant
    belive I actually thought they would be the answer to our problems - they seem determined to destroy what is left of England. All the volunteering he talks about sounds more like communism. Is he and his cronies to the same amount of volunteering they expect from other working people. Those not working wont be able to afford to volunteer - even with volunteers there needs to be a management strategy, are they going to be the well paid friends of the government ir jobs for the boys as usual. Britain helped build the Indian country + economy so why are they doing well when we are in such a mess. We obviously did not learn what we taught or preached.

  • Comment number 96.

    Given, the general tone of this discussion, the similar one on Turkey and recent debates on the 'special relationship' with the US, combined with prevalent attitudes on HYS to the EU, maybe its time for the BBC to pose the ultimate question-

    Should Britain become an isolated island with no trade deals or close relationships to any other country.?

    Would you like to see your tax money used to build a big wall round the island so that nobody can get in out ever again?
    Or does this simply not go far enough to protect innocent Brits from the pernicious influence of foreigners?

    Send us your views!

  • Comment number 97.

    Looking at quite a few comments it seems it is now high time that British people should come out of the colonial mind set. Common man we are now in 21st century. Ties with India is the need for Britain, not for Indians and an average Indian we really don't care about Britain other than black spot in our history.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    I love reading all the posts by the less informed.

    People asking whether Cameron wants India to join the EU ?
    Good grief. Seems people have forgotten what the letters EU stand for and geographically speaking where India physically is.

    With regards to aid programs vs space programs. You cannot tackle poverty by simply throwing money at it. Best way to tackle it is via technology. All technology eventually trickles down to the masses. The fact that India has so many poor should not distract it from actively pursuing any technological goals.

    India pursued a program of educating its masses and the results of that labour have been to sell their new found expertise to countries like Britain. Sure it costs jobs here but that's capitalism for you. If you don't like it, move to China.

    Similarily the expertise they gain in space flight can later be sold to the less developed nations such as Britain who call a couple of sheds in Leicestershire their 'Space Center'.

    The Indian Government is looking at the long term future of its country and this century will see it and China with much more economic power than they have ever had.

    Therefore it is absolutely correct that Cameroon go to India to try and secure a few crumbs from the table.

  • Comment number 100.

    "What outcome do you expect from the visit?" (HYS):

    I'd expect much greater 'Trade-Links' with India AND an agreement on Immigration-levels.
    There's no doubt that there is a 'special' historical relationship with India.

    When Indians came to britain in the past, they were never the problem that we now face as regards immigration. They assimilated well and did not abuse our infrastructural and Benefits system to a great degree.

    In my opinion:
    Of all the Asian immigrants, Indians are by far, one of the most desirable. For the record, their Religion and way of life is also more compatible with our own and of course we have worked very closely with them Historically.
    This is not the case with the vast bulk of Asian immigrants that have been allowed to 'flood' this Country in recent years.

    Whatever changes we make to immigration-levels there MUST be a 'Cap' and that would include India too. India will understand and respect this need...


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