'Will Give Indians Reaching UK Same Preference We Give to EU Nationals': Priti Patel on Post-Brexit Plan


New Delhi: Britain's Indian-origin Home Secretary Priti Patel, who hit the UK general election campaign trail last month, on Sunday promised stronger ties between India and UK once the Brexit deal is finalised.

“So much will change after we get Brexit done,” Patel told CNN-News in an exclusive interview, adding: “Once we get Brexit done we will be able to give Indians coming to the UK the same preference that we give to the EU nationals

Patel said she’s looking forward to “buildng a living bridge with India and strengthen ties” between the two countries.

“As the British Home Secratory, I will be able to do a lot on immigration when it comes to supporting the brightest and the best coming from India. We have already brought in a change in the post-study visa norms. We will also be working to bring over people who want to work in our country and support our economy. This is what we are aiming to do when we get Brexit done. We are trying to end the discrimination that currently exists when it comes to immigration.”

Patel, an ardent Brexiteer who was among the most vocal critics of Theresa May's Brexit strategy, took charge as Britain's first Indian-origin Home Secretary in July in the newly-unveiled Boris Johnson Cabinet.

Patel had been a prominent member of the Back Boris campaign for the Conservative Party leadership and was widely tipped for the plum post in his frontline team.

The Gujarati-origin politician, who is a prominent guest at all major Indian diaspora events in the UK, is seen as an avid supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the UK.

As a member of the UK Parliament's influential Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), she was part of the team that recently released its damning report warning that the UK was falling behind in the race to engage with India at the end of a lengthy Global Britain and India parliamentary inquiry.

"Our report calls for the government to look again at the relationship between the UK and India," Patel said, in reference to the Building Bridges: Reawakening UK-India ties' report released last month to mark the first-ever India Day in the UK Parliament.