Former Conservative minister, Peter Lilley, has branded UK immigration policy 'racist' for allowing unskilled, EU workers into Britain while barring non-EU curry chefs from entering the country to work mainly in Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants on Tier 2 visas or some other visa category. Lilley criticised current UK immigration rules, which allow a 'limitless number of white Europeans UK entry, regardless of whether they have a job offer.'
An avid Brexit [the term used to describe the possible British exit from the European Union following the referendum] supporter, Lilley stated that a number of people living in ethnic minority communities across Britain will vote 'Leave' in the upcoming referendum on June 23, 2016, in the hope that it will make it easier to bring in non-EU curry chefs.
Sanwar Ali, Editor of workpermit.com News has the following to say:
I think both sides campaigning for votes in the referendum on 23 June on whether Britain should leave the EU are making exaggerated claims. Britain if it wanted to could allow in non-EU curry chefs whether or not it is in the EU. However, it may be the case that it may be easier to persuade the public to let in more Curry Chefs say on Tier 2 visas if the UK is no longer in the EU. Politicians could argue that if the UK was no longer in the EU, there would be less immigration from the EU so making it more politically acceptable to allow immigrants from elsewhere.
It is already possible in some circumstances for non-EU Curry Chefs to work in the UK. However, it is difficult. Curry Chefs typically do not gain enough points under the Tier 2 visa points system because their salary is not high enough. Many also do not have relevant qualifications which gives you points under the Tier 2 visa points system.
Endorsing Britain's racist immigration policy
Lilley launched a scathing attack on Keith Vaz, the former Europe minister, for purposely endorsing Britain's 'fundamentally racist immigration policy.' Lilley's remarks come after Vaz openly criticised Britain's Employment Minister, Priti Patel, following comments she made stating that there would be a 'curry crisis' in the UK if voters opted to Remain in the EU.
Ms Patel, a strong backer of the Leave campaign, claimed that Brexit would enable Britain to regain control of its immigration policies and 'save our curry houses' as rules – influenced by Brussels – play a part in capping the number of Tier 2 visas made available to skilled, non-EU workers.
The Tier 2 visa sponsorship licence system was introduced in 2008, to further control and restrict immigration into the UK. UK companies need a Tier 2 visa sponsorship licence to sponsor and employ foreign workers from outside of the European Union on Tier 2 visas.
UK government dismisses 'curry crisis' fears
The UK government moved to dismiss Patel's 'curry crisis' fear with David Gauke, the UK's Treasury Minister, telling MPs: "When it comes to UK immigration policy for those outside the European Union clearly that is a matter for this Government and Government policy and for this House, and that will continue to be the case whatever the result on June 23."
Mr Vaz stressed that Ms Patel's comments were a cause for concern and called for the EU to be put in 'perspective.' Lilley, who is the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said during the Queen's speech debate: "It's a great pleasure to follow Mr Vaz who, as always, spoke very thoughtfully on a whole range of subjects and with great passion in favour of curry and against sugar."
"However, I was rather surprised that he implicitly endorsed the fundamentally racist immigration policy we have in this country at the moment, whereby if you're a white European any number can come and settle in this country with or without jobs - whereas if you're a curry chef from Bangladesh related to people in this country with an offer of a job, you cannot," Lilley added.
Lilley went on to explain that the UK's immigration policy will continue to be 'unavoidably' racist should Britain remain as a member of the European Union. It's Lilley's belief that the many members of an ethnic minority in his constituency will vote leave on June 23.
Mr Vaz, who is the MP for Leicester East, said: "Ms Patel was recently in my constituency with a very big red bus parked outside the biggest temple in my constituency, telling everyone that if we remained in the European Union there would be a curry crisis and people would not be able to eat curry any more. So, I think it's really important we get the EU in to perspective."