Cameron agrees to ink nuke deal with India against official advice

July 28th, 2010 - 3:28 pm ICT by ANI  

David Cameron Bangalore, July 28 (ANI): British Prime Minister David Cameron has shooed aside official advice and agreed to lift a ban on the export of nuclear technology and components to India.

According to the Telegraph, British companies will be free to strike deals worth billions of pounds under the new regime which will be based on a “presumption” that export licences will be granted for products intended for civilian use unless there are specific concerns about a deal.

The nuclear deal will be announced during the course of Cameron’s three-day visit to Bangalore and New Delhi.It may be recalled that the last Labour government had blocked the export of nuclear technology to India on the grounds of the latter refusing to sign the international non-proliferation treaty.

There were also concerns that, despite requests from the Americans, India had failed to ensure a proper separation of its civilian and military programmes.

The move is part of a wider push by the Prime Minister to strengthen trade ties and capitalise on India’s rapidly growing economy.

In June, a few weeks after the Coalition came to power, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, wrote to the entire Cabinet proposing that the restrictions be lifted, on the grounds that the United States had agreed to trade with India two years ago, and British firms were missing out on a multi-billion pound industry.

He suggested that Britain continue to make the case for the Indians to separate their military and civilian nuclear programmes, and under a programme of “assessed risk,” deals which raised specific concerns continue to be blocked.

Following the letter, the Prime Minister “held back” relevant ministers after a Cabinet meeting to discuss the matter - and it was agreed that exports would be allowed.

Downing Street confirmed that the decision made despite official advice from both the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence. (ANI)

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