A British pullout from the EU may affect its position as India Inc.'s gateway to Europe. As Britain prepares for its Brexit vote -the referendum later this summer to decide whether Britain should or shouldn't stay in the European Union - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to reach Brussels for the India-European Union (EU) summit at the end of March. This will be the first such summit after the Modi government came to office in New Delhi in May 2014. Where does Modi and where does India stand on the British presence in the EU Like President Barack Obama, the Modi government is probably uncomfortable with the idea of a British exit from the EU. There are two reasons for this -geostrategic and economic. The first reason is easy enough to guess. We are living in a world of enhanced and accelerated unpredictability, triggered by the 2008 global financial crisis and accentuated by the post-2014 Chinese slowdown and collapse of the decade-long commodities surge. Global economic demand and jobs are under severe pressure. Combined with the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, and the continued march of the Islamic State and its violent auxiliaries, this places much of the world under strain. As the closest western neighbour of the Middle East, and affected by the Syrian refugee crisis, the EU is the eye of a storm. If Britain walks away, and for their own compulsions its people may choose to, many other European countries could decide to leave the EU as well or at least pick and choose which of the EU agreements and protocols they will adhere to. Free trade versus protectionism is an emerging polarity in many societies, including in sections of public opinion in European countries. After the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, another imponderable has been added. The viability of open borders and a common visa system in times of heightened security concerns is being under the scanner. Given all this, the fear in New Delhi, as in Washington, DC, is that a British pullout from the EU will lead to other member-states considering the same route, for a variety of unconnected factors. The second reason is economic. As Modi and his foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, have said, Indians see Britain, a country with which they have had a historical relationship, as their gateway to Europe. Along with Germany, Britain is an important economic partner and business destination for Indians. London is the financial capital of the world, and Germany is Europe's manufacturing and technological powerhouse. These two countries, and these two bilateral engagements, are the most crucial for India within the broader EU framework. How will a potential Brexit affect this Will Britain stay vital enough as a standalone partner, home to so many Indian companies and financial professionals and host to thousands of holidaymakers from the subcontinent Alternatively will the fact that Britain is no longer an automatic gateway to Europe and the EU affect its positioning Those questions will be at the back of Prime Minister Modi's mind as he takes that flight to Brussels.