Priti Patel MP says Britain needs to develop stronger ties with the Commonwealth and fast growing economies elsewhere….reports Asian Lite News
She was addressing an event in London to mark Commonwealth Day.
“The vested interests of other EU countries and the trade barriers, rules, and restrictions the EU imposes stand in the way of new economic opportunities with the Commonwealth,” said Priti. “I find that frustrating and I know that you do too.
“We could do so much more to strengthen our relations with India, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and all other Commonwealth countries if we voted to leave the EU and take back control of our trade and economic policies.But it is not only trade with the Commonwealth that the EU restricts, it also harms our economy through red tape and regulations.
“EU laws on working hours, the environment, waste packaging, to name a few, add costs to business. Those here today who own their own businesses and are desperate to expand, grow and employ more staff will know from firsthand experience the high costs of EU membership.
“That makes it harder for British-based firms to grow and trade with the Commonwealth, and makes Britain a less attractive country for inward investment. The British economy is missing out on investment from our friends in the Commonwealth because they are put off by EU red tape.
“By leaving the EU, we can take back control of law-making in this country and ensure that we have rules and regulations that make Britain attractive for investment and internationally competitive.
The Works and Pensions minister also commented on the migration issue.
“As well as being damaging to our trading prospects and our economy, membership of the EU has led to Britain being forced to have a distorted immigration policy that many feel discriminates against our friends in the Commonwealth,” she said. “Because of free movement rules opening up our country to millions from the EU, Britain has been left vulnerable to damaging levels of immigration. Because of the EU, we are powerless to do anything to control this level of migration and the reforms that have been negotiated will have little or no impact.
“And because immigration from the EU is so high – in fact HMRC cannot even tell us how many are here – tougher restrictions have had to be imposed on migrants from outside of the EU.This means that our borders are being closed to the brightest and the best from the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, while anyone from the EU can come here.”
“Someone from the EU can arrive in the UK today from a plane, boat, or coach, with no job to go to, and within weeks could be receiving benefits, using our health services, and sending their children to our schools. But many people from Commonwealth countries cannot even get visas to come here for family weddings and birthday celebrations.”