Claims UK Commonwealth immigrants turned on EU in referendum

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Gary Jones, Daily Express Editor, at Home Affairs Committee hearing on hate crime 24 April 2018

Copyright UK Parliament

Comments by Sanwar Ali:

The “right wing” Daily Express that wrote the report about some Commonwealth migrants being pro-Brexit, can be a biased and unreliable source of information at times.  Media Bias/Fact Check has described the Daily Express as “Factual Reporting: Mixed”.

During the Brexit campaign ahead of the vote both sides misled the public with the Daily Express also being accused of misleading press coverageMedia Diversified has perhaps a more balanced view of ethnic minority migrant voting for the UK referendum.

“A clear majority of people of colour in the UK voted to remain in the EU Referendum vote, however a substantial minority voted to leave.”

The Daily Express has been accused of hate speech in the past.  However, in March 2018 a pro-Brexit Labour Party supporter Gary Jones became newspaper Editor of the Daily Express.  In his first morning news meeting, Jones told all newsroom staff:

“I’m not going to be doing an anti-immigrant story. Ever. Do not put them on the schedule.”

It’s been claimed that UK Commonwealth immigrants turned on the European Union (EU) during the 2016 referendum in ‘resentment’ at what Britain had become. In an explosive report published by the Daily Express, proud Commonwealth migrants voted to leave the EU because of how Britain had changed under the rule of Brussels.

According to the Daily Express report, while non-white ethnic groups seemingly leaned toward Remain, a significant proportion of people from minority backgrounds reportedly backed Brexit.

The report states that in Osterley and Spring Grove, located in Hounslow, 63.4% of British Indians in these areas voted to leave the EU. The majority of voters living in west London are non-white.

Some migrants dissatisfied with Brussels

Hardeep Matharu, whose parents migrated to Britain from Kenya and India more than 40 years ago, summed up their dissatisfaction with Brussels, saying: “My father liked the way of life in Kenya when the British ruled the east African nation.”

Meanwhile, Swaraj Matharu, said: “Everything was run properly, all the laws and the administration. On voting for Brexit, my father admits harbouring ‘resentment’ at how Britain has changed, in his eyes, for the worse – something he feels is linked to being part of the EU.”

Ms Matharu described how her father depicted the EU as a ‘powerful entity that was trying to enforce its own rules, regulations and laws’, and that he was not happy with what he saw.

Her father said: “My allegiance is to Britain, I don’t see myself as part of Europe, I don’t want to be. Europe is trying to impose its own rules, regulations and laws onto this country. Britain should have kept on its own. We were better off that way.”

Criticism of EU “uncontrolled immigration”

Mr Matharu took aim at the EU’s policy of uncontrolled immigration and said that it’s ‘changed the whole culture of the UK’. “I don’t see what the EU has ever done for Britain,” he added.

A second generation Pakistani immigrant, who asked to remain anonymous, said that Britain’s integration with Europe had ‘left many immigrants behind’, saying: “Those in the Commonwealth who had fought for Britain while part of the Empire were given lesser access to immigrate to the UK than their EU counterparts.”

“My uncle fought in the Second World War in Burma and our ancestors have been entwined in the British Empire and Britain, but we have been given less rights in terms of migration into this country as compared to some eastern European countries,” they added.

Shahmir Sanni, who worked for BeLeave, echoed the anonymous immigrant’s comments, saying: “A number of migrants from South East Asia felt their communities were being left behind as Britain integrated more with Europe.”

“Britain has a moral obligation to reconnect with the Commonwealth and I consider that a form of reparations. If we’re going to have free movement, it should be between Britain and India, Pakistan and countries like Nigeria, not with the EU. I also think it’s unfair that European migrants get privileges over non-EU migrants,” Sanni added.

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