The Indian government has been conspicuous in its fairly non-partisan stance on Brexit, playing it in the spirit of an internal issue that needs resolution which would eventually have an impact on bilateral relations. As Dominic Asquith, the British High Commissioner to India, told the media in India recently, the importance of developing trading and investment relationships, not just with European mainland but with major partners abroad, will be “even more important” once Britain has left the EU.
He noted: "Brexit is causing some companies to delay decisions, that tends to be the expansion of companies which are based in the UK. It does not seem to be stopping Indian companies from investing in the UK.
“Last year alone, 50 Indian firms had invested in our country. So the number is rising."
And, that sense of confidence in the UK economy among Indian companies remains fairly consistent. However, the factor that would come into play if indeed the UK and EU fail to agree upon the terms of their divorce, would be one of prioritising. The likelihood of Britain becoming preoccupied with grappling with the fallout of a no-deal Brexit over and above international relations is quite a strong one.
On the other hand, the EU member countries themselves have a direct bond with India, which they would inevitably try to further bolster. French President Emmanuel Macron has made no secret about wanting to build upon the rising numbers of Indian tourists and students to Britain's neighbouring country.
Boris Johnson seems to have taken this reality on board and during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, in late August, the two leaders agreed to set up a dedicated team to work on the UK-India economic relationship.
“The principal discussion was focussed on how in the post-Brexit scenario, we can develop the partnership and strengthen economic and commercial relations,” Indian foreign secretary Vijay K. Gokhale told the media following their talks - the first since Johnson took charge at Downing Street.
The optics seem to be well in place, but post-Brexit realities are likely to trigger certain unknown variables that could throw some of the planning awry. However, given the unprecedented nature of what is set to unfold come October 31, the UK would most certainly like to have India and its rapidly growing economy in its corner. For India, on the other hand, the stakes are not as high and therefore it is up to Britain to make Brexit - deal or no deal - work for UK-India relations.