THE UK Government has come under fire after the contract to run a Brexit helpline for British businesses was given to an Indian company.

According to The Times, the contract had been awarded to Hinduja Global Solutions, an IT services management business that is listed in Mumbai and has operations in Britain. Its biggest shareholder is the Hinduja Group, led by the billionaire brothers Gopi and Sri Hinduja.

The Department for International Trade is expected to announce details of the hotline this week. It was set up to help businesses to navigate post-Brexit rules, including documentation and physical checks on goods, that are due to come into force next year.

From January 1, companies will face full customs declarations and controls and further trade hurdles will be phased in after that. Export health certificates for animal food products will be introduced in July.

Those importing goods from Britain to the EU will also have to provide documentation and be ready for physical checks of products such as meat, cheese and eggs from July.

Some EU officials suspect that Britain’s border control regime is not yet fully ready for the new rules, but Brexit minister David Frost insisted the government was “on track” to deliver the new systems.

READ MORE: Scots most likely in UK to think Brexit has gone badly, poll reveals

Hinduja Global Solutions did not respond to a request for comment. The Department for International Trade declined to comment.

Social media users pointed out the irony of the government giving the contract to an Indian company, with Goerge Thomas saying: "Is it April Fools Day?"

Anthony Glees added: "Yet another instalment in the by now vast volume of 'you couldn't make it up if you tried' narratives.

"Either Brexit is about British jobs for British workers, or it's about British jobs for workers from anywhere, just as long as they're not from the EU."

Another said: "Outsourcing Brexit support to India could only ever make sense to a Tory!"

Jeremy Fox said the plan is "beyond farce" while Iain Gilmour added: "Checks calendar, nope it’s not April 1st."