ONE of India’s leading industry groups on Wednesday came out strongly in favour of the UK staying within the European Union, saying the exit of Britain will “create considerable uncertainty” for Indian businesses operating in the country.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) warned against “considerable uncertainty” for Indian businesses operating in the UK and Europe at the prospect of a British exit (Brexit) from the EU.
Dr A Didar Singh, FICCI Secretary General, said in a statement: “Britain is considered an entry point and a gateway for the European Union by many Indian companies, a view echoed by Prime Minister Modi in his visit to UK in Nov ember last year.”
“While deciding on membership of the EU is a sovereign matter for Britain and its people, Indian industry is of the view that foreign businesses cannot remain isolated from such decisions.
“The UK is a valued economic partner for India and we firmly believe that leaving the EU, would create considerable uncertainty for Indian businesses engaged with UK and would possibly have an adverse impact on investment and movement of professionals to the UK.”
FICCI’s comments come as the campaign both for and against Brexit gathers momentum with British Prime Minister David Cameron launching a UK-wide tour on Tuesday to make the case for staying in the EU.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Cameron had used trade deals with India to strengthen his stand.
In a statement given at the House of Commons, David Cameron said: “We have secured commitments to complete trade and investment agreements with the fastest growing and most dynamic economies around the world, including the USA, Japan and China as well as our Commonwealth allies India, New Zealand and Australia.
“By their very nature, these EU deals would be bigger and better and a deal with Britain would not even be possible until we have settled our position outside the EU, which means years and years of delay.”
The UK Cabinet is split over the issue with 17 members in favour of staying in the EU and five wanting to leave. The ruling Conservative party MPs are also split 142 to 120 in favour of staying.