There is magically going on in the present state of affairs between India and Britain. On one day, you may believe that things are going to be settled but things are not that simple the other day. It is like a volleyball match where the ball is changing place every now and then and the final point it will land remains a mystery.
Both the countries know the importance of settlement but only time will decide what will happen in future. The supposed free trade agreement that can happen between the two is a tri-party affair if you are really going to consider every side. There is UK and India obviously and then the third one to create problems in any type of relation i.e. EU.
India, for now, prefers a free trade agreement with EU and it really wants some assurance in this regard. But then again the UK is not a less important partner regarding the vast projects it is investing in India. Choosing one is very difficult and there should be some positive signals and steps from Britain to hold the strong tie.
On one side, there is a disagreement for further softening of visa policy and then there is the VVIP treatment given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for obvious reasons. Now the advantage seeking of all this is not one-sided, it is a two-way process.
Cargo to India wants direct investments from Britain and Britain is on the lookout of a very strong agreement regarding trade. However, at the same time, there is EU, which has its importance because there is a chance of better access to the world markets due to the presence of other countries.
And over here there is only one country and if there is a union then things get complicated at the other end.
Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary to Britain, received Indian prime minister at the Heathrow airport. Then he was accompanied by both Prince Charles and Theresa May.
He traveled in a lavish vehicle when other country heads were traveling by a specially assigned bus. Not all this is aimless; there are certain things, which are to be achieved from this.
However, this is not a negative effort, as countries do this exercise very often, obviously, a relation cannot be built without hard work.
There have been positive attitudes from both sides on the free trade agreement, but the UK has issued the statement that there will be no agreement before the transitional time of Brexit ends.
After that, UK will try to replace the EU agreement but there will be and is more India is asking for and there has been the very clear signal from the Indian government that this point is not going to be compromised.
So it is not that simple what is happening, there are very critical things involved that can make a difference.