Whilst the PM’s trip to India is postponed and travel banned from India to the UK, it’s a timely reminder of the importance of UK India migration.
I posted on my TikTok channel a BBC interview I did where I said I’d invest in companies with Indians at the helm – Microsoft, Google, Pepsi, Adobe, Mastercard – and indeed my portfolio has done very well. Microsoft going up over 50% since the founders handed to Satya and worth more than all FTSE 100 companies (the 100 largest UK listed companies).
Most people liked the video. Business Insider magazine have done an article about my TikTok channel calling me a ‘sensation’ – imagine! But a couple of people were racist, calling Indians the usual things from the 1960s.
When I consider the G8 meeting representing the world’s largest economies – it’s interesting their relationships with immigrants. Take the US – the largest of the G8 – a land of immigrants – the great melting pot. Or even the Germans – just look at the number of Turks in their team! Or Canada – pleading for more immigrants.
Over 1m people travel between the UK and India annually pre-covid – those are largely tourists. Almost 2m people of Indian origin live in the UK.
There are over 40,000 Indian students in Higher Education in the UK. As a former University Governor I know how important their fees are.
The entrepreneurs from India that I deal with are still keen on the UK as much as ever for ease of doing business and global expansion.
Fundamental to the migration issue is an understanding of whether migration leads to economic growth and its impact on cohesion. The problem with the EU was that its citizens got a free pass whereas those from India who may well be the lowest users of public services and the greatest contributors to taxation and employment and probably the least disruptive to cohesion in the UK given how many are already here – get no recognition at the policy level – until now.
This is why when I was a Board Member of the UK India Roundtable my recommendation was that migration policy should be a little like University entrance. If all things are equal then those from schools (countries) with a track record of delivering outstanding entrants should be preferred. Indeed, that would put an obligation on those here to ensure their behaviour and contribution to the country is outstanding as it will affect their fellow nationals.
Then again, this Patel is not Home Secretary and I no longer dare sms text her either.