UK ‘should be more welcoming to Commonwealth nationals’

A Conservative MP has called for the British government to consider making it easier for people from Commonwealth countries to enter the UK.

At a parliamentary debate held earlier this week, MP Andrew Rosindell suggested that the UK’s immigration system unfairly favours European immigrants and instead should be more welcoming towards Commonwealth countries which share a longer historical tie with the UK.

“Being a subject from one of Her Majesty’s realms or being from a Commonwealth nation should count for something when looking to visit, work, study or live in the United Kingdom,” the MP explained.

“At the moment it appears to count for little.”

Last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson proposed that there should be bilateral mobility zones between economically developed Commonwealth nations, an idea that Rosindell believes already has support from other Commonwealth countries.

“I am aware that such a proposal has support from the New Zealand Prime Minster and the tacit backing of Tony Abbott’s Government in Australia,” he said.

The MP has also suggested that a special queue for Commonwealth visitors could be introduced at major British airports.

Replying to Rosindell’s proposals, Home Office Minister Karen Bradley replied that there are a number of ways that Commonwealth nations can currently live and work in the UK, such as the ancestry visa, and more progress was being made on the issue.

The ancestry visa allows those who can prove that one of their grandparents was born in the UK, a stay in the country of up to five years.