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NEWS EU Referendum Debate

Row broken out over impact on Curry Houses

A row has broken out over a claim by EU Leave campaigner, Employment Minister, Priti Patel, that leaving the EU would "save" Britain's curry houses. Ms Patel claimed that the government's "biased" immigration policy prevented talented chefs from outside the EU from being able to come to the UK to work. She said: "Uncontrolled immigration from the EU has led to tougher controls on migrants from the rest of the world. This means that we cannot bring in the talents and the skills we need to support our economy while we remain tied into the EU. Curry houses are being hit particularly hard as they are finding it more difficult to bring in experienced chefs to cook great dishes and train the next generation of chefs. Our curry houses are becoming the victims of the EU's uncontrolled immigration rules." "By voting to leave the EU we can take

back control of our immigration policies, save our curry houses and join the rest of the world." But Labour frontbencher Seema Malhotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “Let’s be clear – the decision to restrict has been made by the Home Secretary Theresa May, with the backing of David Cameron. “Anyone who believes Priti Patel’s claims that leaving the EU would solve the problem will end up feeling misled and betrayed.” She was supported in her call to leave by Pasha Khandaker, President of the Bangladesh Caterers Association who represents 12,000 Curry houses. Paul Scully MP said: "As Chairman of the APPG, I hear first-hand from owners how restaurants are closing down every week. There are many reasons behind this, but by far the biggest is the difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled curry chefs. Whilst the ideal situation would

be to train chefs locally, there are not enough to keep this huge industry going. It cannot be right that skilled Bangladeshi chefs should be penalised for an immigration system that can do nothing to stem migration from within the EU and so bears down heavily on people from further afield. "There are many reasons that I will be voting to leave the EU on 23rd June; the ability to forge closer trading relationships with growing economies like India, Bangladesh and China; bringing decision making back here to the UK and ensuring once and for all that we do not get dragged further into a Euro super-state. However having greater flexibility on immigration, rather than managing numbers with one arm tied behind our back, has the potential to have a significantly positive effect on curry restaurants across the country that provide what has become our most popular dishes.

What Priti Patel exclusively told Curry life…

CL: What specific measures 'Vote to Leave' group would take to save British Curry Industry if we are out of EU to address the issue of staff shortage? It is not simply true that your government does not have control over 'Immigration.' At present your government does have a

control over Non-EU immigrants, but has done nothing to address the issue of staff shortages in the Curry Industry. You are part of the same government and have the responsibility as the Minister of Employment. Why should anyone trust you? PP: 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 in order to keep the numbers down. The reason is because immigration from the EU is out of control. This prevents highly skilled chefs from Asia coming to the UK, while at the same time; chefs from the EU can come into the country and go straight into employment regardless of skills. It is manifestly unfair and unjust that curry houses and members of our


Diaspora communities have to deal with this second-class immigration system. If we Vote Leave on 23 June we will instigate a fair immigration system that welcomes highly skilled chefs from Asia and ensures the curry industry has a bright future here in Britain. CL: Whenever anyone from the Curry Industry lobbied the Conservative Government (since your party came to power), we have been told that we should recruit locally and recruit and train people from the EU to fill the vacancies. Reluctantly, a lot of Curry Houses have recruited EU migrants such as Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, and Spanish to fill some of the low skills jobs in our Curry Industry. This is not an ideal or perfect solution. But this is the reality in some cases. Leaving EU, there is no guarantee that you or government will make any specific case for allowing us to fill up the vacancy from Non-EU

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