LONDON, NOVEMBER 6: Defence, security and trade relations will top the agenda of talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May during her India visit as they review the “breadth” of ties after the Brexit vote.

The two leaders will discuss the “breadth” of India-UK relations during their working lunch at Hyderabad House on Monday afternoon, May’s official spokesperson told reporters at Downing Street here.

“It will not be about how many deals are signed or that kind of transactional visit but more about the depth of the ties and working towards creating more jobs and growth in both countries. Defence and security will be an important part of the bilateral discussions. We are keen to develop that partnership and see how we can put in more energy and enthusiasm into that,” she said.

“Why the Prime Minister is going to India for her first bilateral visit outside Europe, and her first trade delegation, is because India matters to us. In the context of Britain leaving the European Union (EU), the aim is two-fold — to build on the groundwork already done to bring down trade barriers and deepen the UK’s relationships outside the EU,” she noted.

In reference to discussions on a potential India-UK free trade agreement (FTA), the spokesperson stressed that the UK would not be pursuing a bilateral trade deal with India while it remains a member of the EU.

“We will continue to support the India-EU FTA, respecting our rights and obligations within the EU,” she said.

While there has been wide speculation over a potential India-UK FTA, Britain remains inhibited from openly pursuing bilateral trade negotiations until Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty triggers the official process of Brexit.

May will begin her visit by opening the India-UK Tech Summit on Monday morning alongside Modi.

While in New Delhi, she is also expected to visit Rajghat and India Gate.

On Tuesday, she will leave for Bengaluru, where she has a series of business engagements as well as an address to a tech summit. The British premier will be accompanied by 40 small and medium enterprise (SME) representatives from across the UK, many of whom are on the lookout for a foothold in India.

Cairn writes to Modi

Ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s maiden visit, UK’s Cairn Energy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminding him that resolution to the ₹29,047-crore retrospective tax demand it faces is still pending.

The Edinburgh-based firm told Modi that it has been more than 1,000 days that a tax notice was slapped on it using a retrospective legislation but a resolution is nowhere in sight.

Cairn Energy has also written a similar letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

When contacted, the company CEO Simon Thomspon refused to comment on its discussions with the government.