Terming the UK-India relationship a “force for good”, British Home Secretary James Cleverly has said that the two countries can work to prevent conflict from spilling over and engulfing other parts of the world. Speaking at India Global Forum’s 6th annual UK-India Parliamentary Lunch at the House of Lords on Wednesday, Cleverly said that the intellectual horsepower of India is enormous and getting bigger.

The intellectual horsepower of India is enormous and getting bigger. Whether it is dealing with potential future pandemics or dealing with non-communicable diseases or dealing with the opportunities and risks of Artificial Intelligence or financial services or sustainable agriculture, I struggle to think of any sector where coordination and cooperation between the UK and India will not be a force for good in the world, he said.

Against the backdrop of major global conflicts, and following the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister (Rajnath Singh) to Britain in 22 years, Cleverly emphasised the vitality of the partnership in preventing conflict from spilling over.

It was incredibly important that India’s Defence Minister visited the UK because in a turbulent world, and a potentially turbulent region, having strong and long-standing partners, as we do with India, closely coordinating on security on the preservation of peace is incredibly important.

“Of course, the military relationship between India and the UK is very long-standing. I hope that together, demonstrating strength of purpose, demonstrating a commitment to democracy, and demonstrating a willingness to defend our values, the UK and India can work to prevent conflict spilling over and engulfing other parts of the world, Cleverly was quoted as saying by a media release issued by the India Global Forum.

Highlighting the strides the Indian economy has made in recent years, Sujit Ghosh, India’s Deputy High Commissioner said that India is not just creating opportunities for its people but also for the rest of the globe.

India is not just creating opportunities for its people but also for the rest of the globe. The UK is uniquely positioned to benefit from India’s rise. The time has come for our friends in the UK to shed their old lenses and see India for what it is, he said.

Co-hosted by the Indian High Commission in the UK and Lord Jitesh Gadhia, the UK-India Parliamentary Lunch convened key players from the worlds of politics, business and finance over a sit-down lunch at the House of Lords to celebrate the growing ties between the two democracies.

Referring to UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s comments on the global conflict dashboard flashing red lights, India Global Forum Chairman and CEO Manoj Ladwa said: As we have seen, approaches and responses can vary, even between the closest of partners. These divergences are more about nuance and emphasis, rather than the fundamental values of the rule of law, freedom of belief, diversity and inclusion, freer trade, and democracy, that we all so cherish.

“In such times, democracies must work harder to work together. Because we all know, democracies work best, when democracies work together, Ladwa said.

Though a significant element of the UK-India bilateral, agenda lies in the hands of political leaders and diplomats, especially the FTA negotiations, a lot of the activity flows from the two-way traffic of people, ideas, commerce and collaboration, which is such a defining characteristic of the UK-India axis, observed Lord Gadhia.