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EDITORIAL Brexit politics of ‘divide and rule’ IN OR OUT?


The referendum on 23 June about whether the UK will stay in or leave the European Union is the most important vote people will cast in a lifetime. Recent polls show that the British public is split on the issue with many still undecided about which way to vote. Immigration is, undoubtedly, one of the key battlegrounds in the debate. Throughout the campaign, the curry industry has been used specifically by some Brexit campaigners to fuel arguments for the Vote to Leave. The latest row involves Government Minister, Priti Patel who says that leaving the EU would “save” Britain’s curry houses. In this edition, in an exclusive interview with Curry Life, Ms Patel says the government has been forced by the EU into an “unfair immigration policy that has seen us turning away the brightest talent from across the world”. She says this “biased” policy has prevented highly skilled chefs from Asia coming to the UK. However, others campaigning to Remain in the EU have been scornful about her claims. Labour MP,


Keith Vaz, writing in this issue of Curry Life, passionately


refutes her comments,


describing them as “divide and rule politics of the worst kind.” We agree! Curry restaurants are currently facing many problems and the ability to recruit staff from overseas is undoubtedly at the top of the list. However, the situation has more to do with the Conservative Government’s cap on immigration cap with its high salary threshold, than an influx of workers from the EU who the government has been actively encouraging curry restaurants to employ. Any attempt to use the curry industry as a weapon against the vote to Remain is not about justice for the curry industry. Instead, it is scaremongering and an attempt to divide our communities. Leaving the EU would only make life harder for restaurateurs, including those in the curry industry. Curry Life strongly urges readers to cast their vote to Remain in the European Union.


Taste of Britain showcases the best of British food


Our Taste of Britain festival in Delhi saw the Curry Life teaming up with some of the best curry chefs led by multi-awards winning chef Abul Monsur from Kent and the highly acclaimed chef Dominic Chapman from Berkshire, to promote British food. Curry Life's festival received tremendous boost after receiving best wishes and support in a debate at the British Parliament. The veteran Labour MP and former FCO Minister, Keith Vaz mention this festival in parliament and then current Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire was delighted sent his best wishes to participating chefs. Lord Karan Bilimoria, who has been consistently supporting the good work of Curry Life, praised this festival in his budget speech at the House of Lords. He has also travelled to the Indian capital Delhi for the grand opening of this unique festival. We are also grateful for the support and attendance of some of the leading caterers from the UK at our festival in Delhi. For example: Bazloor Rashid MBE, past president


3


of BCA, Mr Abdur Rouf JP from Scotland, Mr Amin Ali, founder of London's iconic restaurant the Red Fort, Mr Shibir Miah and young entrepreneur from County Durham were in Delhi to be part of this festival. In this issue, Dominic shares his unique experiences at the ITC Maurya New Delhi a five-star hotel which has hosted President Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and a plethora of world leaders and A-list Hollywood stars. But it was not all hard work. The team was also able to visit local markets and iconic restaurants as well as taking in the delights of the incredible Taj Mahal. The Taste of Britain Festival offers a life- changing experience for Indian food chefs, with a mission to promote British food and curry, encourage expertise and form bonds across continents. We can’t wait for our next festival in ITC Windsor Bengaluru, in India. If you are a curry chef who would like to take up the challenge and become involved with our Taste of Britain event, please get in touch. It could be the start of something great!


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