Rahul Gandhi speaking at an event in London. Photograph:( Twitter )
Congress president Rahul Gandhi today met the senior leadership of the UK's Opposition Labour Party and discussed bilateral, regional and global issues, and highlighted the difficulties faced by Indian professionals and students following the change in Britain's visa policy.
Gandhi and the Labour leadership, including Shadow Cabinet members, discussed issues of unemployment, growing protectionism, trade wars and threat to rule-based international order.
They expressed concern over threats of terrorism and forces of violence to stability and peace.
Both the sides also acknowledged the value of the UK-India economic partnership including growing investments and technology cooperation.
The Congress and the Labour leadership agreed to reinvigorate party-to-party exchanges and create an institutional mechanism for a regular exchange between the leadership of the two parties, the Congress said in a statement.
Gandhi was accompanied by Congress Working Committee member and chairman of the foreign affairs department Anand Sharma, besides chairman of Overseas Indian Congress Sam Pitroda and Milind Deora.
The Labour Party was represented by Barry Gardiner MP and shadow secretary for International Trade and Climate Change, Valerie Vaz, MP and shadow leader of the House of Commons, Sir Keir Starmer, MP and shadow Brexit secretary, Gareth
Thomas, MP and shadow minister of Foreign Commonwealth Office, Preet Gill, shadow minister for International Development, Rajesh Agarwal, deputy Mayor of London among others.
Gandhi specifically referred to the fallout of the Brexit, increasing inequality and youth unemployment.
Britain will leave the 28-member European Union in March 2019, following a historic referendum held on June 23, 2016.
He referred to the concerns over the visa for Indian professionals and students following the change in the UK visa policy and the fall in the number of Indian students in the UK after the closure of Old Tier- 1 post study work route, the statement said.
Gandhi said India has made huge intellectual investments in the UK and the contribution of Indian doctors and nurses to the country's National Health Scheme is immense.
"Nothing should be done to hinder the movement of professional," the Congress president was quoted as saying.
The Congress and Labour Party attach special significance to the special relationship and strategic partnership between the UK and India, and will work to strengthen it, the statement added.