Reaching out to the Commonwealth

With Pakistan Ambassador Naghmana A. Hashmi & MEP Amjad Bashir

With Pakistan Ambassador Naghmana A. Hashmi & MEP Amjad Bashir

Last night I had the privilege of attending an event as a guest of recently appointed Pakistan Ambassador to the EU H.E. Naghmana A. Hashmi.  There were a number of UKIP MEP colleagues, as well as a solitary Green MEP, and several other guests.

We in UKIP take the view that British exporters have been too concerned with an EU in long-term decline, and should re-focus their efforts on the rest of the world, where the growth is.  An important part of that is of course the Commonwealth, where we have strong historic and cultural links, and where growth (in some Commonwealth states at least) is very attractive.  Growth in Pakistan seems to be running at around 5% — a figure that we in the West would be delighted to emulate.  At a time when eurozone stagnation threatens the global economy, a recalibration of our export efforts is all the more important.

In this context, we were delighted to be able to initiate a dialogue on trade issues with Mrs. Hashmi, and will be talking to other Commonwealth countries.

In my remarks after dinner, I made some points about UKIP’s position on immigration.  Too often our opponents seek to present our position as “pulling up the drawbridge and cutting ourselves off from the world”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We simply want a managed immigration policy based on numbers and skills.

What too few people realise is that the policy which the Coalition government operates at the moment, within the constraints of EU rules, is profoundly discriminatory.  It discriminates against highly qualified applicants from Commonwealth countries – Canadian doctors, Indian engineers, for example.  And in favour of “EU citizens”, many of whom are poor and unskilled, and some of whom, at least, come to Britain for welfare and health benefits.  This cannot be right.

Commonwealth citizens arguably have a much stronger claim, for historical reasons, to generous treatment from the UK than do many Europeans.

Cameron is caught in a bind.  After Clacton, and Heywood & Middleton, he has finally realised that immigration is a serious issue.  But he can do nothing about EU immigration as long as the EU’s “Free Movement” rules are in place (apart from fiddling at the margin with welfare entitlements).  So he has to clamp down hard on immigration from elsewhere, including the Commonwealth.  This produces the perverse discrimination against the very people who would work hard and benefit our economy.

To favour the poor and unskilled (“Send us your poor and huddled masses”) while excluding the highly-qualified and capable, is to shoot ourselves in the foot.  It is the worst possible option both for our social cohesion and our economy.  It has to stop.  But the only way to stop it is to get Britain out of the EU.

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14 Responses to Reaching out to the Commonwealth

  1. patriot says:

    I could not agree more with everything you have said Roger.
    I thought when we joined the “Common Market !?!” we had turned our backs on Commonwealth countries whose citizens had sacrificed life and limb in support of the `mother countryt` and that we should have been ashamed, I was only young at the time but still felt this.
    Now I wonder who could possibly support the influx of so many EU immigrants, then realised that the builders of apartments in profusion have a ready market, after all, if the person or family cannot afford the rent the state will pay, note! not the EU but our tax payers.
    Also the retail giants ie. supermarkets, after all they have to eat! a constant income for ever!
    There must be many more instances, no thought at all of over population, I notice that the population size is never used to account for health service, education, and other social problems!
    I notice that some of the most profitable supermarkets are now European.
    We live on an island wiuth limited space, green belt made into brown belt so that it can be built on.
    when will it stop? When civil unrest breaks out?

  2. Anne says:

    Well Roger, I would like you to say a very GREAT thank you to ALLl and any Members of the Commonwealth you may meet in future, for I remember them in that war of 1939-1945 when they came to our aid in that last terrible WAR and without them we might have gone under the rule of one mighty Adolf Hitler. Before that war was ended Roger, we were taken to the “PICTURES”, such excitment too during our School Hours, was it to see cartoons-such exceitment?. However, we were taken to see the opening of Belsen!

    Although many members of the Commonwealth are at the other side of the World, they are nearer to our Hearts and Minds than any one in the EU will ever be. I pray they always will be.

  3. Anne says:

    A little while ago I completed a UK Consultation Paper on the Commonwealth the one question and answer given place here. Question: – Does the Commonwealth retain a purpose and value? Yes, indeed it does, at least if it is left as it is at present. The present Commonwealth can achieve far more than the European Union can ever hope to achieve no matter how long the latter survives. If the former is changed however by what is proposed in the Report of the Eminent Persons Group to Commonwealth Heads of Government at Perth, Oct 2011, “A Commonwealth of the people-Time for Urgent Reform”, it too will eventually die as part of the EU is dying here in the UK at present, for without the people behind it, it is doomed-even though it may take an unconscionable time in dying. Sadly, it looks as if the Commonwealth has been or is being hi-jacked, or destroyed from the great idea of what it was and what it stood for. For it is now to become the New Commonwealth, and from reading, “it is time for urgent reforms” it is reminiscent of the words in the EU Treaties.

  4. Pingback: Meeting the new Pakistan Ambassador to the EU | Amjad Bashir MEP

  5. patriot says:

    The display of the commonwealth games participants was a credit to them, the joy and friendship they displayed made one feel proud to be a fellow member. Compare this to other peoples in the world today and wonder what the hell goes on in their minds!

  6. Jane Davies says:

    I know Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has a new trade agreement with the EU but the Canadians look to the USA for most of it’s imports and exports, and now our winter/summer time change is no longer in sync with the UK, we change our clocks to stay in the same time range as the USA. I think the neglect inflicted on some of the Commonwealth countries will take some work to repair. Dropping old friends for the new boy in playground was shortsighted but there is still a lot of loyalty with the UK within the ordinary people of Canada and this must be a good thing for the future when the UK leaves the sinking ship of the EU.

    • Anne says:

      As you mention the EU’s Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) this involves-if accepted- the EU as a whole “speaking” on all matters of Trade, for ALL ITS MEMBER STATES to the USA-forever. If this happens of course, there will be no point at all in having any NATIONAL governments at all of they can no longer “SPEAK” for us.. The people may then realise that their own Constitution forbids foreigners Governing us and they also know their very own Common law constitution FORBIDS us allowing foreigners governing us. “…all usurped and foreign power and authority…may forever be clearly extinguished, and never used or obeyed in this realm. …no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate…shall at any time after the last day of this session of Parliament, use, enjoy or exercise any manner of power, jurisdiction, superiority, authority, preeminence or privilege…within this realm, but that henceforth the same shall be clearly abolished out of this realm, for ever.”

  7. Ex-expat Colin says:

    You should have been in the EU working and did you spend EU expenses/salary on your trip….wait for it.

    Rather like that BS BBC Panorama thing recently…Farage spent all that money somewhere and here is the wedge on shoulder chap to tell you about it…wait, wait a good few minutes – let the viewers think Farage spent it on himself. And then come up with an account showing where it went and OMG it went South of London. Wonder why?

    Thats apart from some female idiot saying Farage was a Banker.

  8. Mike Stallard says:

    My son is married to a Singaporean and my grandson is his progeny. Are they allowed into UK though? Is my own daughter who has taken Australian citizenship?
    Secondly, the Anglosphere is something for the world to treasure. It is the home of democracy, decent behaviour, self-respect and consideration for all human beings, however humble. It is headed up by the Queen, God bless her, and we play cricket!
    We need to encourage it. We are much closer to the Anglosphere than were are to the French, Germans, Poles and even the lovely old Spanish.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I’m a dual British/Canadian citizen, I’m sure as Australia is a member of the Commonwealth that your daughter has the same status, Mike.

  9. Me_Again says:

    Agreed Roger.

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