Vara highlights importance of UK’s diverse population in selling UK plc overseas

13th January 2020

Speaking in the debate on the Queen’s Speech, Shailesh Vara highlights the importance of the UK’s diversity of its population which provides a ‘living bridge’ to a large number of other countries, not least the UK's 1.5 million people of Indian origin.

I am most grateful. Does the Foreign Secretary agree that one of the United Kingdom’s assets is the diversity of its population? For example, within the UK, we have some 1.5 million people of Indian origin, who provide a living bridge in terms of our contact and help to strengthen our relationship with India. Likewise, there are other communities here who provide a strong link with other countries. Does he agree that as we seek to strengthen our role on the global stage, that can only help us?

I entirely agree. The Indian community make an incredible contribution and help us to sell UK plc abroad not just in India, but around the world, as do many other communities. The point that was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr Baker) is that we need to not just respect and safeguard the interests of those communities, but be proud of them and enable and empower them to champion the UK on our behalf. My hon. Friend the Member for North West Cambridgeshire (Mr Vara) makes an excellent point.



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