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Far-right politician wants to offer Indians money to leave UK

UKIP’s John Rees-Evans made a specific reference to Indians and Tanzanians in relation to a so-called “fast track export- import scheme” of offering up to £9,000 to migrants to leave.

world Updated: Aug 19, 2017 22:31 IST
UK Independence Party,John Rees-Evans,Indians
UKIP’s John Rees-Evans made the comments during a meeting in Greater Manchester on August 2.(Twitter)

A leadership candidate for Britain’s anti-immigrant, far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) has come up with a radical plan to cut “unnecessary population” in the UK by “incentivising” some migrants, including from India, to return to the country of their origin.

John Rees-Evans made a specific reference to Indians and Tanzanians in relation to a so-called“fast track export- import scheme” of offering up to £9,000 to certain Commonwealth migrants to leave the UK.

“It’s not going to be draconian. It’s not going to be fascist. I’m not interested in using eugenics or any evil things like that, and yet I would be pushing for negative net migration towards one million a year,” Rees-Evans is heard saying in a speech filmed during a meeting in Greater Manchester earlier this month, in a story first published by the Daily Mirror.

He suggested that the UK government’s foreign aid budget should be cut from more than £13 billion a year to £1 billion , with £12.3 billion then spent on incentivising British citizens with dual citizenship to leave the country, citing British Indians and Tanzanians, whom he said could set up their own businesses.

He referred to Indians as an example of migrants who can be offered such an option. However, India does not offer dual nationality to its citizens.

Rees-Evans later defended the plan on his Facebook page, saying the fee would incentivise people to set up businesses overseas.

He claimed: “I am being accused of wanting to send people of a particular country, or countries, abroad. This is absolutely not the case.

“The net effect would be a reduction in Britain’s population of up to several hundred thousands persons annually, as well as forging prolific and valuable import-free trading relationships that will create jobs in the exporting country, while reducing the cost of living to British residents.”

Under his scheme, the UK citizens who decided to move back to Britain within seven years would repay the “financial award”.

Rees-Evans’ UKIP rivals have condemned the comments, made on August 2. Peter Whittle, a London Assembly member and frontrunner to lead the party, said the remarks were “utterly and entirely wrong”.

First Published: Aug 19, 2017 21:38 IST