Sunrise’s Lit, East End’s Paul Deep in Vote Leave camp

British Prime Minister David Cameron at Asian Lite office in Manchester. Photo Arun Jacob Thomas

Dr Avtar Lit, Sunrise radio – Founder; Paul Deep Wouhra, East End foods – Commercial Director; Paul Sagoo, Founder – Asian Awards; Moni Varma, Owner – Veetee Rice, Sanjay Anand MBE,  Madhu’s – Chairman,  Saleem Kader,  CEO – Bombay Stores Group, were among the prominent British-Asian business personalities join the Vote Leave camp which criticise lack of ambition in EU reforms of Prime Minister David Cameron….reports Asian Lite News

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British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo Arun Jacob Thomas
British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo Arun Jacob Thomas

Several business leaders from the Commonwealth backgrounds have written an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron to call for the UK to take ‘back its autonomy in the fields of migration and commerce’. They argue that the UK ‘should secure a free-trade-only deal with the EU, and re-establish our global role’ if the UK’s EU renegotiation does not bring back powers over immigration and trade policy.

Signatories include Pasha Khandaker, President of the UK Bangladesh Caterers Association UK, Moni Varma, owner of Veetee, MOBO award winner Rachel Kerr, Gurmail Singh Mahli, President of Shri Guru Sing Sabha Southall and Tariq Usmani, CEO of Henley Homes plc.

They outline two main concerns:

Fair migration: The EU binds the UK into a discriminatory migration policy. Whilst EU citizens enjoy freedom of movement and no restrictions on their stay in the UK, those coming to the UK from outside of the EU face greater restrictions.

Trade deals: Membership of the EU means the UK has no control over trade policy so it is unable to negotiate deals with countries from outside the EU, including Commonwealth nations such as India and Australia.

The letter reads: ‘The United Kingdom is connected to every continent by ties of language, law and family. No other European country has acquired so large a migrant population with such few tensions. No racist or authoritarian party has ever won parliamentary representation here – unlike in many neighbouring countries.

As patriotic Britons of Commonwealth backgrounds, we saw the EU renegotiation as an opportunity to rediscover Britain’s global vocation. 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. Vested interests on the Continent sustain a relatively protectionist policy. We have to apply the EU’s common external tariff to exports from Commonwealth countries – hurting consumers here as well as producers there.

At the same time, our immigration policy forces us, in effect, to turn away qualified workers from the Commonwealth so as to free up unlimited space for migrants from the EU. 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.

This renegotiation offered Britain the chance to regain its autonomy in the fields of migration and commerce. We should determine who settles here. And we should be free to liberalise our trade with non-EU states. If we are not allowed to decide these things for ourselves, we should secure a free-trade-only deal with the EU, and re-establish our global role. The United Kingdom is the fifth largest economy in the world, one of five permanent seat-holders on the UN Security Council and a leading member of NATO, the G8 and the Commonwealth. Europe is now the only continent experiencing no economic growth. There are opportunities across the seas – if only we raise our eyes.’

Commenting, Pasha Khandaker, President of the Bangladesh Caterers Association UK, said: ‘As President of The Bangladesh Caterers Association I know how the 12000 curry houses that we represent across the UK 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.’

Tobi Lawal, Founder of Tribe Think, said: ‘Commonwealth economies are growing rapidly in comparison to stagnating EU countries and if Britain voted the leave the European Union it would be free to engage in more trade with its Commonwealth allies across the globe.’

Paul Sagoo, founder of the Asian Awards, said: ‘The current immigration system in the UK makes it difficult for those moving from non EU countries to obtain visas and residency, and as a result Britain misses out on talent from around the world. Any nation serious about economic growth should base its immigration system on skills as opposed to geographical place of birth.’

Mark Wells, Mark Wells Public Affairs, said:‘We share a historical and cultural friendship with Commonwealth countries, but when it comes to trade and immigration the UK prioritises countries in the European Union. Our ancestors fought alongside Britain in two world wars, yet we are considered second class immigrants and trading partners. Why would you treat your neighbours better than your family?’

Elizabeth Adeniran, Head of Enterprise, EN Campaigns

Pastor Mary Afolabi,  RCCG Jubilee House for All Nations

Cllr. Munir Ahmad, Leader of Opposition for Lib Dem Earley Town Council

Alyas Ahmed, Ex town district & county councillor – Banbury

Astakhar Ahmed, ASL Solicitors

Naveed Ahmed, CEO – Goldteam Recruitment

Daniel Akinbisehin

Askir Ali, Managing Partner of Quilfords

Cllr. Zafar Ali, District Councillor of Keighley

Mohammed Ali,  Mango Delivery Ltd – Director

Syed Mohammed Ali,  Orchard Foods UK Ltd

Sanjay Anand MBE,  Madhu’s – Chairman

Iftikhar Awan,  Muslim Leadership Panel

Shahid Azeem, Entrepeneur

Farzana Baduel, Founder and MD – Curzon PR

Amjad Bashir MEP, ZOUK Restaurant, MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside

Saqib Bhatti, Director – Younis Bhatti & Co.

Cynthia Chandiwana,

Aftab Chugtai MBE, Chair – West Midlands Police Independent Advisory Group

Ivan Corea, Founder – Autism Sunday

Cllr. Osman Dervish, Councillor for Petits Ward and Havering Council Cabinet Member

George Fagbenro,

Choudhary Fahad, Heartlands Financial Services

Ngozi Fakeye,

Shane Frith, New Direction – Director

Shehla Ghaffur,  Community Leader and photographer

Lauren Goodheart

Abdus Hamid, Deputy Chair of CFOB

Ajaz Haq,  Owner – Far East Consulting

Cllr. Atiqul Hoque,  Wiltshire Council

Mohammed Rashidul Huque,  Director – Hugue Consultants

Cllr. Arif Hussain,  High Wycombe Councillor

Victor Idieho

Malik Iftikhar, Junaid Iftikhar Enterprises Ltd

Samuel Kasumu,  Founder – Elevation Works

Rachel Kerr,  MOBO Award Winner

Saleem Kader,  CEO – Bombay Stores Group

Sabiya Khan,  Chair of British Muslim Women Forum

Pasha Khandaker,  President – Bangladesh Caterers Association UK

Moyo Ladele

Abi Lawal

Tobi Lawal

Trige Think

Kate Lily

Dr Avtar Lit, Sunrise radio – Founder

Nazar Lodhi

Gurmail Singh Mahli, President of Shri Guru Sing Sabha Southall

Cllr. Asghar Majeed,  Councillor Windsor and Maidenhead

Naheed Majeed,  Businesswoman and ex-Mayoress of Windsor and Maidenhead

Edel Meremikwu,  Nigerian Watch

Imam Shouaib Ahmed Mirpuri,  Trustee and Director of King Fahad Mosque, Edinburgh

Cllr. Zahir Mohammed,  Bucks County Council

Zengani Mohonay

Cllr. Mohammed Nazir, Slough Borough Council

Sheila Ocen,  Teacher

Toyosi Ogedengbe, Executive Director – Capstone

Nicholas Olafare

Ayo Olatunji, Director – Elegance Management

Taleah Olsen,  Teacher

Samson Osun,  Hackney Voluntary Services

Tomi Oyebadejo

Cllr. Dilip Patel, Havering Council

Deputy Roget Perrot

Guernsey Parliament

Cllr. Viddy Persaud,  Councillor for Brooklands Ward in Havering Council

Adnan Siddiqi

Paul Sagoo, Founder – Asian Awards

Arnold Sarfo,  MD – MeFiri Ghana

Zeeshaan Shah,  CEO One Capital and ex-Apprentice star

Cllr. Shamsul Shelim,  Councillor Windsor and Maidenhead

Chrysilla Stockwin,  Hassan Sulaiman

Assistant Manage Under 18s – Chelsea FC

Omolade Sulaiman
Sandy Tanner, Treasurer – Romford Commonwealth Association

Riky Taylor
Lloyd Thomas, Chairman – Hackney Montserrat Foundation

Dr Naveed Ul-Zafar, Director – Cannon Sec UK Ltd

Tariq Usmani,  CEO – Henley Homes Plc

Moni Varma,  Owner – Veetee

Mark Wells,  Mark Wells Public Affairs

Paul Deep Wouhra,  East End foods – Commercial Director

Lorraine Wright