80 Commonwealth community leaders backing Brexit

Rachel Kerr
Rachel Kerr backs Britain's exit from the EU. Photo: Twitter/Rachelkerrmusic

80 “patriotic Britons of Commonwealth backgrounds” have written to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for Britain to take back control of the open EU borders in favour of other countries.

Supporters of the letter included Pasha Khandaker, President of the UK Bangladesh Caterers Association; Moni Varma, owner of Veetee; MOBO award winner Rachel Kerr and Tariq Usmani, CEO of Henley Homes.

The letter claims that under the current arrangement, “the descendants of the men who volunteered to fight for Britain in two world wars must stand aside in favour of people with no connection to the United Kingdom.”

It also added: “As long as Britain’s trade policy is controlled by the EU, we cannot sign bilateral free trade agreements with Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand or for that matter any other non-EU state.”

One signatory, Pasha Khandaker, president of the UK Bangladesh Caterers Association UK, said the 12,000 curry houses his organisation represents “have been struggling to recruit the talent that they need because of the difficulties associated with employing people from outside of the EU”.

“If the UK had a fairer immigration system it would be easier for businesses to recruit skilled workers regardless of their nationality,” he added.

However, a spokesman for Britain Stronger in Europe said: “Several Commonwealth leaders have been very clear that Britain is stronger, safer and better off in Europe.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Britain is the entry point for trade right across Europe; while Australia’s former deputy prime minister said the Commonwealth could never replace the trade Britain does with the EU.

“We get the best of both worlds in Europe, trading freely with the world’s largest market, as well as accessing free trade deals with over 50 countries around the globe.

“While Leave campaigners may look back with rose-tinted spectacles, they have no plan for what Britain outside the EU would look like, and no guarantee that trade, jobs and prices wouldn’t be hit.”