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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

My hon. Friend is completely correct that this Government have done more than any other in my memory to make the Commonwealth more significant and to develop trade and co-operation with it, but we can go only so far because, as he will know, as a nation we can sign up to trade deals with countries only via the EU—again, the EU is a block to us utilising our Commonwealth network for trade and co-operation.

Until we have a new relationship with our neighbours on the continent—one that is less of a political union—and again have the freedom to agree trade agreements, deals and immigration arrangements, we can go only so far, however positive the Conservative-led Government have been in this respect. We need to alter our relationship with the EU to allow us the freedom to develop greater trade with the Commonwealth.