Our Advisory Board Member Andrew Rosindell MP has introduced his United Kingdom Borders (Control and Sovereignty) bill to Parliament.
In his introductory remarks he said:
"Immigration to these islands over the centuries has been overwhelmingly positive in shaping our nation’s development and evolution, contributing to our cultural and economic success. Our island story has been enriched by the arrival of peoples of every nationality and, most especially in recent decades, those from our Commonwealth family of nations and territories, with whom we in the British Isles, including Ireland, share such a close bond through our cultural, historical and constitutional ties."
He went on to say that a future government may seek to
"give greater preference to the nations of the Commonwealth and Her Majesty’s realms, with whom we share so much in common, most notably our English language."
Commonwealth Exchange has always argued for a fairer deal for Commonwealth migrants and made a number of recommendations to achieve this in our "How to solve a problem like a visa" report.
In his concluding remarks, Andrew said:
"Through our ever closer integration with the European Union, I fear that we have lost sight of our place in the world as a global, trading nation, neglecting our close ties with the English-speaking world and Commonwealth, and instead aligning ourselves most closely with the one region of the world where economic growth is stagnating."
Commonwealth Exchange does not take a position on UK membership of the EU but we have produced an award winning plan for what Britain should do if it does chose to leave. However we do agree with Andrew that, in or out of the EU, the UK should do far more to engage with the Commonwealth and recognise the network's vast potential.
About the bill
Andrew's bill passed this first hurdle and, if it is selected, will have its second hearing on 22nd January 2016. It will be introduced by Andrew and other Parliamentarians including two more of our Advisory Board members: Frank Field MP and Kate Hoey MP. You can read Andrews full introductory speech here or watch it here.