Tory MPs back Jake Berry’s plan to give fast-track visas to our 52 Commonwealth countries
MPs have signed up to a plan to give citizens of the 52 Commonwealth countries “fast-track” visas to the UK after Brexit.
A letter to the Home Secretary, published in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, says loosening visa control on Commonwealth nations would “extend the hand of friendship to our Commonwealth partners”.
If the MPs’ plan goes ahead citizens from countries including Australia, Canada, Ghana India, Kenya, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria and Pakistan could find it easier to come to Britain.
The idea first floated by Jake Berry MP, which also proposes faster passport control queuing at UK border points for Commonwealth citizens, is due to be debated in Parliament on 26th February.
The MPs say it is unfair that EU and EEA citizens should get to join the UK queue while Commonwealth countries are lumped in with others.
“In the previous century, Commonwealth countries stood with Britain as we faced existential threats from abroad, but as we pivoted to Europe, increasingly, our Commonwealth allies were left in the cold,” the letter says.
“The lack of consideration for Commonwealth citizens is at its starkest at our border. In 2015, the last year for which figures are readily available, from Australia, Canada and India alone, Britain welcomed 2.2 million visitors who spent more than £2bn.”
It continues: “We must be clear about the importance we place on our relationship with the Commonwealth and start the process of strengthening ties for crucial future trade negotiations.
“A key starting point in the renewal of our ties with our Commonwealth partners should be a reconfiguring of our border control system.”