British Indian businessman Lord Karan Bilimoria disagrees with former home secretary Suella Braverman’s controversial comments
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British Indian businessman Lord Karan Bilimoria has countered former home secretary Suella Braverman’s statements she made earlier this month about Indian migrants.
In an interview with The Spectator, Braverman branded Indians to be the “largest group of people who overstay” their visas in the UK. However, in conversation with Economic Times Online over the phone, Lord Bilimoria, a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, expressed his disbelief at the controversial statements.
He remembered that the last time such statements were made by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2016, it damaged the relationship the two countries had worked hard to build over the years.
He added, “In the last six years, we’ve made a lot of progress. So, such remarks are not helpful at all in any circumstance, let alone when we’re coming close to negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) in good faith.”
The founder of Cobra Beer said that the FTA was a milestone and that talking about mobility by skewing the perspective to overstaying Indians wasn’t the right thing to do.
“Because they are a very tiny proportion [compared to] the people who overstay from other countries,” he said.
Lord Bilimoria went on to stress that there are a large number of high-skilled Indians who are working and contributing to the UK’s economy.
“The NHS would collapse without Indian doctors. The Indian community is 1.5 million strong. It’s the largest ethnic minority community in the UK and, by far, the most successful,” he added.
The Indian-origin Tory minister’s controversial statements about the FTA and the Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) not working very well were countered by The Indian high commission in the UK, which told the Press Trust of India all the cases which were reported had been resolved and that India awaits “demonstrable progress” on certain commitments made by the British government under the MMP that was signed in May 2021. Braverman tendered her resignation on Wednesday, 19 October becoming the shortest-serving home secretary in Britain’s history at just 43 days.