Britain’s only Asian female Cabinet minister has insisted it is not “racist” to worry about mass immigration, before blaming other politicians for making it impossible to raise such concerns without accusation of bigotry.
Priti Patel, the Conservative Work and Pensions minister, who is campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union (EU), also slammed US President Obama for intervening in the referendum, and said Brexit could save the UK money and reduce pressure on public services by bring down migration.
Ms. Patel is the daughter of Indian immigrants, who left Uganda shortly before the tyrant Idi Amin expelled Asian’s from the former British colony.
“I don’t subscribe to this view that it is racist to speak about immigration and I say that as a daughter or immigrants from decades ago. Our job is to articulate and represent the concerns of the British public – and we should be doing that whatever our backgrounds are,” she told the Telegraph.
Immigration has consistently polled as the number one concern of the British public. With the EU mandating open borders, it will play a critical roll in the up and coming referendum. Speaking about Brexit, Ms. Patel continued:
“There is no reason we can’t. The public must not be given the view that when we leave it is all too difficult, all too complex. It is not.
“There is more we have got to do to control our immigration and our membership of the European Union has really hampered us – we are working with our hands behind our backs.”
She also linked the UK’s record levels of mass migration directly to struggling public services
“Speak to the public wherever your go, pressures on public services are acute when you look at school places, there are not enough school places in some parts of our country because of the changes in our communities, because of the flow coming in”, she explained.
It has been argued that the UK spends £350 million a week on EU membership. “Any Government that is in control fully of its public finances by having that money back would be in a much better position to say ‘we can spend this locally in our communities’,” asserted Ms. Patel.
She also attacked President Obama, insisting that it is not “appropriate” for him to be telling Britons how to vote, pointing out that “diplomatically we wouldn’t go to other countries and start speaking about domestic elections – and this is a domestic election”.
In the interview, she also explained that the EU had betrayed older people, who had voted to join the Economic Community in 1975, by over-stretching its mandate and becoming and undemocratic political project.
“The European Union and its institutions have stolen the voice of the British public,” she concluded: “We have become a bit-part player. We have become like the sock puppet basically in this whole morass of the European Union.”