British MP Calls For ‘Vindaloo Visa’ To Tide Over Curry Crisis

A temporary visa, valid for one year, is needed to save UK’s “favorite cuisine,” Liberal Democrat MP Sir Vince Cable said.


Post-Brexit United Kingdom is facing a crisis — the shutdown of the £3.6 million curry industry brought to the country by its immigrant population of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. The restaurants are closing at the rate of four a week as the visas used by them to bring in more chefs see stringent restrictions. The crisis recently prompted Liberal Democrat MP Sir Vince Cable to call for the need for “vindaloo visa” to save the nation’s “favorite cuisine.”

Cable asked the government to introduce temporary “vindaloo visas”, valid for a year, to take care of the shortage of staff at curry restaurants in the country. The visa would be open to chefs from the Indian subcontinent.

“We need more urgent measures, including what has been dubbed a ‘vindaloo visa’, to save the nation’s favorite cuisine,” Cable said at the British Curry Awards held on Nov. 27.

“If there was any doubt beforehand, the shortage of curry chefs is now a crisis… The curry industry is rightly aggrieved by Brexiteer false promises that a vote to Leave [the European Union] would mean more workers, including chefs, from South Asia could come into the country, because there would be fewer EU workers. This has not materialized,” Cable added.

As per British Curry Awards analysis, 50 per cent of all curry restaurants in the country would face shut-down within 10 years. That would be around 6,000 restaurants. Businessman Enam Ali, the founder of the awards, wrote to the UK government asking for tightly controlled temporary visas for chefs to come to the country, as well as training for the local staff in the traditional style of curry cooking.

Cable said that the government had received “excellent suggestions” on how to address the crisis over 18 months ago. However, the “well-researched 75-page document has sadly gone ignored,” he added.

“Theresa May must revisit these proposals, which include a tightly controlled, one-year work visa, so that our curry restaurants can bring expert chefs to the UK and to train the next generation of curry cooks,” he said.

Cable’s remarks come after the “Save Our Curry Houses” campaign, led by British politician Priti Patel ahead of the EU referendum, blamed the decline in restaurants on the immigration system.

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