Days after the issue of UK-India travel restrictions was resolved, UK High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis on Thursday dismissed allegations that there was a racism angle and claimed that this was due to the “transition” in UK travel policy. .
He also said that the center of the world is heading towards India and the Eurocentric world is coming to an end.
Speaking at the Times Now summit, he said the AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) alliance, a trilateral security partnership, signified Britain’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. and keep it open and secure.
As to whether AUKUS complements the Quad, the British envoy called it another addition to the global patchwork of institutions. The Quad is a grouping comprising the United States, India, Japan and Australia.
The AUKUS should complement the Quad, Ellis added.
Asked whether the British apparently have a skeptical view of India’s immunization program, he said: “I reject it completely”. “India’s immunization program is absolutely fantastic. Now about over a billion vaccines have been delivered, it’s an amazing achievement,” he said and pointed out that 80% of these vaccines are the result of cooperation between the UK and India – Covishield. ” It is worth remembering the story of Covishield – funded by the UK government, studied by one of the largest universities in the world in Oxford. The absolute quality of the people of Oxford that they went to the people of a commercial company and said that if we are to produce a vaccine it has to be done at a cost and not at a cost. a profit, a rare thing to do. Even more impressively, the AstraZeneca company says we agree, ” he said.
Putting an end to the dispute over vaccine certification, the UK announced on October 7 that Indians, fully vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine, will no longer need to undergo a quarantine when they arrive in Britain from October 11.
Regarding the recognition of Covishield, Ellis said the UK had recognized the vaccine and had “abundantly clear” it.
What is happening is that all countries, including India, are transitioning in their travel rules. Traveling during the pandemic is a complicated thing, as we have all learned. We (the UK) were moving from a rule based on which country you came from to what you were double struck with, ” he said, explaining the reasons that led to the argument.
Asked what he would say to those who characterize the British action as racist and condescending, Ellis replied: “It is not and never has been.” He then appointed British ministers of Indian origin such as Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel. to point out that “India is creating a huge success story in the UK”.
Describing the row of vaccine certification as a “flywheel,” he said it was mainly the result of a transition in travel policy that India then made.
” We recognized Covishield, we recognize Covaxin for people entering the country. We would now like to end the travel restrictions which limit the number of flights between UK and India which we want to increase, we want to allow UK citizens to join citizens of all other countries in the world to get electronic visas like this will attract tourists and investment to India, ” the British envoy said here.
As to whether the issue could have been better dealt with, he said everything could be managed better and added that “we should have been clearer at the start that Covishield was recognized” as one of the various Astrazeneca vaccines around the world. “If we had said that on the day the policy change started, people here would have understood,” he said.
The UK recognized the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India, but retained the 10-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers from India.
The move brought no relief from quarantine rules for Indian travelers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield.
British officials later said the UK was having issues with India’s vaccine certification process, not the Covishield vaccine.
However, the UK then decided to remove strict COVID-19 quarantine travel rules for 47 destinations, including India.
As a result, India also withdrew the reciprocal Covid checks and restrictions it had imposed on those arriving from the UK.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)