Fine Indian Food
UK Curry Restaurants Feeing Let Down by Brexit
I read with interest the feelings of prominent leaders of the UK curry restaurant industry who believe their support for the Leave campaign has been betrayed.
Restaurants are facing closure as they are unable to recruit UK chefs with the required skills. If they recruit from the subcontinent the current immigration requirements are that they need to guarantee an annual wage of £29,570 which is beyond many restaurants budgets.
The hope was that these requirements would be replaced by a points based immigration policy being introduced, similar to that operating in Australia. This would pave the way for more Asian chefs to be able to obtain visas.
The Financial Times reports that Pasha Khandaker, president of the Bangladesh Caterers Association who campaigned heavily for the Leave campaign, was “very disappointed” by the government’s refusal to adopt this policy, despite it being a key proposal in the run up to the referendum.
Mr Khandaker said prominent government figures such as “Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel … were clearly saying that they would introduce a points based system of immigration”. He went on to say “My organisation supported Brexit for several reasons but the main reason was to bring people from abroad to help our industry to survive.”
At present there are estimated to be some 12,000 curry restaurants in the UK employing around 100,000 and worth £4bn. Fears now are that many restaurants will be forced to close.