EU’s loss, India’s gain? Brexit could free up Anglo-Indian arms trade

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a welcome rally for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Wembley Stadium in London. File photo. ©  Justin Tallis
A British exit from the EU could leave the country in a position to make a handsome profit by selling cyber-security and military technology to India, according to the State Bank of India’s economics chief.

It is claimed that an exit from the EU would see the UK freed from restrictive European rules on trade with particular industries capable of delivering big profits if a breakaway did occur.

SK Ghosh, chief economic adviser at the State Bank of India, told the Economic Times website the UK “has expertise in cyber security and its military technology is still competitive.

This can become the point of convergence … hence, [the] UK may very well be compensated for the loss of markets in [the] EU by the gains in India," he added.

The view echoes that of Tory employment minister Priti Patel who said in February “voting to leave the European Union would be a massive boost to UK-India relations.

New opportunities for the UK and India to cooperate more closely and develop stronger trading links would emerge as the UK re-aligns its foreign policy and trade priorities,” she said.

In 2014, the then-Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government was criticized for announcing the erection of a statue of India’s pacifist icon Mahatma Gandhi just one day after clinching a £250 million arms deal with the country.

William Hague, who was foreign secretary at the time, said every nation had the right to defend itself, while arguing there was “no moral conflict over this.

Ann Feltham of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) told the Independent at the time: “Gandhi would undoubtedly have advocated restraint on all military sales to India.