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Tamara Chabe: Black Brits would be better off if we quit the EU


Writing in the Left Foot Forward blog Lester Holloway, a black pro-EU social justice campaigner, lambasted the failure of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign to engage directly with black and ethnic minority (BAME) voters.

Holloway said: “Stronger In co-opted June Sarpong amid initial fanfare but have made little use of her since to appeal directly to ethnic minorities. Instead Ukip’s immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe MEP is single-handedly pushing the ‘out’ campaign directly at voters of colour, all three million of them”, and “the remain camp have given Woolfe a free run, which suggests they are taking BAME votes for granted. This is not wise, as research shows particular dynamics are at play around Europe and people of colour.”

The In campaign is most likely taking BAME voters for granted because they assume that since a large proportion instinctively votes for left wing parties, this means that they will most likely vote to stay In, as Labour and the Liberal Democrats are pro-EU. Also, the Conservative Party under David Cameron achieved a fair share of BAME votes and Cameron is a Europhile.

I also wouldn’t be too surprised if they are cautious about directly challenging Steven Woolfe as he has an excellent all-round understanding of the EU, its laws and regulations, trade and free market economics, and is also very much aware of how protectionist EU tariffs harm developing countries. Mr Woolfe recently set up a website at, which contains a wealth of information and tackles some of the myths put forward by the Stronger In campaign.

Holloway says that there are obvious economic and social reasons for remaining in Europe, and that “there is a need to spell out the rights and protections against discrimination which were made on the mainland”.

The idea that we should give up democracy and freedom in exchange for EU rights is shocking, and Labour MP Gisela Stuart has called the argument spurious as Labour could always put workers’ rights in its manifesto.

Britain does not need to be in a political union to trade with the EU, and the notion that the EU fosters mutual and beneficial trade between EU countries runs against the facts. Switzerland, which is outside the EU, exports more goods to the EU than Britain exports to the EU. Britain exports more to countries outside Europe than to countries in Europe, and we have a trade deficit with Europe.

Unemployment rates in EU countries remain stubbornly high and its one-size-fits-all approach is causing real damage to the economies of countries in Southern Europe, and we’ve all seen the devastating effect that EU policies have had on Greece.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna and even TV presenter June Sarpong constantly talk of how we should stay in the EU because big business favours membership.

EU policies actually result in crony capitalism, which distorts competition in favour of the big multinationals and favours the well connected, which ultimately reduces equality of opportunity.

Large companies have the funds to lobby EU bureaucrats to enforce policies that suit them and are often anti-competitive.

Excessive EU red tape stifles small business, which do not have the means to lobby in the same manner as larger companies.

Umunna recently wrote an article in the Evening Standard calling for “an end to all-white boards at FTSE 100 companies” and for the Government to meet a target for 2020.

I would much rather Britain votes Brexit and adopts a genuinely free market capitalist system and creates an environment where small business can thrive.

You often hear stories of ethnic minorities who started their own businesses as a means of taking control over their own futures and destinies, as opposed to being reliant on getting jobs in the public sector or begging the well-connected, elites, and government for work.

Neo-Nazi movements are on the rise in Europe and that is because open borders and loss of sovereignty end up creating anger and ultimately fuel extremist sentiments within societies.

Holloway is right to mention research that shows that Black Brits are less likely to take advantage of free movement and view the EU as a fortress.

I used to support Labour and I attended my first and last BAME Labour event three years ago which was about Europe. A prominent black Labour member of the London Council spoke at the event and talked about why being in the EU is good for BAME Brits and gives them good opportunities to travel.

When the panel asked if people had any questions, I stood up and argued that Europe lagged far behind Britain in terms of race relations and it was unlikely that many black Brits would travel and set up lives in Europe, and far more likely that large numbers of Eastern Europeans would travel to Britain, and this had the very real potential of displacing black Brits from lower skilled jobs. If Black Brits travel then it would most likely be to United States of America, Canada or back to Africa to take up opportunities there, and therefore free movement with Anglosphere countries would suit as better than with the EU.

The Anglosphere is undoubtedly the best place for people of colour and that is because of the superior nature of British freedoms, as opposed to European autocracy and collectivism, which produce elitism and lack of opportunity.

Our immigration system now discriminates against non-EU migrants in favour of unskilled EU migrants and leaving the EU would allow us to have a fairer immigration system.

Unfair protectionist tariffs are harming African trade and development and Brexit would allow Britain to be able to form its own free trade deals and renew links with the Commonwealth, which would be mutually beneficial. Africa needs trade not aid.

The European arrest warrant goes against the principle of habeas corpus and I’m surprised that pro-EU black social justice campaigners, who constantly talk about racism in the criminal justice system, are nevertheless happy to sign up to it.

Lester Holloway says that there are compelling reasons why Black Brits would want to stay in the EU.

I have always thought that the EU is something that the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin would approve of because it removes direct democracy and puts power in the hands of elites who can then control the people.

I profoundly disagree with Holloway and the reality is that there is are numerous reasons, backed up by facts, for why Brexit would be best for Britain’s black and ethnic minority communities.

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Tamara Chabe
Tamara Chabe
Ms Chabe is a Legal/Business Advisor with a special interest in Business, Current Affairs & Leadership matters

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