Conservative MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay has cited the unfair deal Commonwealth citizens get from the UK among his reasons for supporting Brexit. Speaking in a Parliamentary debate about the UK's EU membership, Mr Mackinlay said:
"We have to recognise that trade has changed—that the world is now a global place and trade barriers have come down. A lot of these trade areas are good, friendly nations—Commonwealth nations. I always find it very strange that our friends—our kith and kin; our family—extract their wallets and purses and find, lo and behold, a note with a very familiar and loved face on it, but we deny them access to our country, and we are not allowed to speak to them on trade terms"
While Commonwealth Exchange does not take an institutional position on whether the UK should leave the EU, we do share Mr Mackinlay's frustrations, particularly on the issue of migration and visas, as highlighted in our report "How to Solve a Problem like a Visa" which shed light on the parlous state of Commonwealth migration and provided six practical proposals to improve the situation.
We have also published an award winning plan for what the UK should do if it were to leave the EU. Our proposals are based on a reinvigorated trading Commonwealth network. You can read it here.