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Commonwealth Immigration and Visas — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford 2:30 pm, 27th January 2015

Once again, my hon. Friend is absolutely correct. The Commonwealth is an organisation of the future. For a time, the FCO tended to feel that the Commonwealth was no longer relevant and that we should focus entirely on the EU, but the world has changed. Our historical, traditional links with the Commonwealth of nations can provide a way forward for Britain, so he is completely correct. Thus, not only are former colonies wanting to be part of the Commonwealth, but countries that have never had any link with the British Crown, such as Rwanda, Mozambique and Cameroon, want to join, which shows that the Commonwealth has a great future. We, as the United Kingdom, need to do more to harness the Commonwealth and make it stronger if we are to succeed in making it as relevant to our future as it has been to our past.

For so many years, British foreign policy has failed to grasp that concept, preferring to shun our traditional ties and place most of our eggs in the EU basket. Now that it is clear that trade with the wider world is becoming more important by the day, it is imperative that we change course and grasp the opportunities that the nations of the Commonwealth represent.