Diaspora Politicians Back Vote Leave to Boost Trade

LONDON - England - More than 20 MP's from Commonwealth backgrounds, or representing constituents from BME backgrounds, have written an open letter calling for the UK to Leave the European Union.

They argue that Britain’s Membership of the EU is a barrier to ties being strengthened with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world – and say that a Vote to Leave will allow us to adopt fairer trade and immigration policies.


The cross-party group of signatories include Boris Johnson,  Priti Patel, Gisela Stuart, Rishi Sunak and Iain Duncan Smith.


Priti Patel MP, who was appointed UK India Diaspora Champion by the Prime Minister in 2013, said:


‘India is a growing market with the fastest growing working age population of any other major economy – but it is a market that we are forbidden from striking a trade deal with because it is against EU rules. That’s just one example of how the EU is holding our great nation back – if we Vote Leave we can change that.


‘Similarly, EU membership has led to us having an immigration system with discrimination and prejudice at its core. At present, we discriminate against those outside the EU – all due to the fact that EU freedom of movement rules mean we are unable to control migration from countries that are members of the bloc.


‘If we Vote Leave we can look forward to a safer, more secure, and more prosperous future – we can introduce a fairer immigration system, and take back control of our trade policy. We can also take back the £350m we send to the EU every single week, and spend it on our priorities instead.’


Gisela Stuart, Chair of Vote Leave said:


‘If we vote to remain, the UK will be unable to make trade deals with the rest of the world as the Eurozone economy stagnates.


‘This means that the UK may well remain unable to trade on favourable terms with major emerging economies in the years ahead, while remaining tied to the failing Eurozone.


‘The percentage of UK exports going to the EU has been in decline for a decade. If we vote to remain, we will tie ourselves to a shrinking market. It is beneficial to Vote Leave and take back control’.

The letter

We are a group of cross-party British Members of Parliament who represent constituencies with large numbers of hardworking people, from Commonwealth backgrounds or with strong cultural ties to those countries.

We all know that Britain’s Membership of the EU is a barrier to our ties being strengthened  with our friends and families in the Commonwealth and the rest of the world – which is why it is so important we Vote Leave on 23 June.

Britain’s trade policy is controlled by the EU. That means we are unable to sign bilateral free trade agreements with countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand or for that matter any other non-EU state. Commonwealth countries like India have been in talks with the EU about doing a trade deal since 2007 – to no avail. While we stand ready to trade and build close ties with countries across the world, the EU is inward looking, protectionist and more concerned with defending its own vested interests than supporting global trade and growth.

As well as damaging our economy, membership of the EU has left Britain vulnerable to the pressures of mass uncontrolled levels of Immigration from Europe. The pressures this causes means that we have to turn away qualified doctors, teachers, and entrepreneurs from non-EU countries who would make a positive contribution to this country. The ancestors of many people we represent fought alongside the British in two world wars, but are now forced to stand aside in favour of people with no connection to the United Kingdom. This is unfair.

Over six million residents from diverse ethnic backgrounds are eligible to vote, their voices are crucial in this debate if we are to secure a positive future for our country. We send £350 million pounds a week to the EU, money which would be better spent on our priorities. The referendum is an opportunity to take back control of our borders, our economy and our democracy and finally rejoin the rest of the world.

That’s why it’s essential to Vote Leave on 23 June.

The letter has been signed by:



The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

The Prime Minister’s UK-India Diaspora Champion


Boris Johnson MP


The Rt Hon Gisela Stuart MP

Chair of Vote Leave


The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

Chingford and Woodford Green

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Chipping Barnet

Bob Blackman MP

Harrow East

Andrew Rosindell MP

Chairman of the Australia, New Zealand and Canada Parliamentary Groups


James Duddridge MP

Minister for African and Overseas Territories

Rochford and Southend East

Paul Scully MP

Chairman APPG of British Curry Industry

Sutton and Cheam

Richard Fuller MP


Suella Fernandes MP


Adam Holloway MP


Adam Afriyie MP


Nusrat Ghani MP


James Cleverly MP


Roger Godsiff MP

Birmingham Hall Green

David Burrowes MP

Enfield Southgate

Kelvin Hopkins MP

Luton North

Kwasi Kwarteng MP


Nadhim Zahawi MP

Member of Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Stratford upon Avon

Graham Stringer MP

Blackley and Broughton

Rishi Sunak

Richmond (Yorkshire)