UK PM Boris Johnson to be republic day parade chief guest

The timing of the proposed visit also assumes significance with the UK reaching "a make-or-break moment" on trade negotiations with the European Union.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade in 2021 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation to his British counterpart last month.

Johnson will be the first British PM to grace the Rajpath parade in 27 years. The last UK premier to be the chief guest at the January 26 parade was John Major in 1993. As per reports, Modi formally invited Johnson during a telephone conversation on November 27, while the latter reportedly invited the Indian PM to the G7 summit to be held in the United Kingdom next year.

The timing of the proposed visit also assumes significance with the UK reaching “a make-or-break moment” on trade negotiations with the European Union. Britain formally left the EU on January 31 but then entered a transition period under which EU laws apply until the end of this year to give citizens and businesses time to adapt. A free-trade deal need to be in place by January 1.

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