Two Labour MPs have joined the growing opposition to the European Union’s ban on the import of mangoes and some vegetables from India from May 1.
The Alphonso variety is popular in towns with large consumers of Indian origin such as Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and London. Britain, the largest EU consumer of mangoes, imports 47,000 tonnes of mangoes a year, mainly from India and Pakistan.
As an EU member-state, Britain will implement the ban announced on May 26 due to concerns over pests and insects in consignments from India. A revision of the ban is due to take place before December 31, 2015.
As more join an e-petition to the David Cameron government to lift the ban, two Labour MPs from Leicester – Keith Vaz and Jon Ashworth – reacted with fury at the ban and its impact on Indian restaurants and companies in their constituencies.
“This is Euro-nonsense and bureaucracy gone mad. Indian mangoes have been imported to Britain for centuries. I am furious with the lack of consultation with those who will be affected by the ban,” said Vaz.
Promising to raise the issue in Parliament this week, Ashworth said: “Given that the crop of Alphonso mangoes will peak this month and next, the import ban is concerning for many businesses in the City of Leicester”.