The ancestry visa is for those with a grandparent born in the UK. They can come an work for up to five years, no hassles.
The harpies that rule us want to abolish it. For no very good reason though. It seems that it\’s messy or something.
Labour is happy to invoke our history when it wants to make a song and dance about its commitment to Britishness; yet it is content to dispense with one of its most potent manifestations. The ancestry visa is, after all, a symbol of that historic legacy.
You would have expected a mighty outburst of indignation from Parliament about this, yet there has hardly been a squeak. Only Austin Mitchell, the Labour MP for Great Grimsby, who once worked in New Zealand as a university lecturer, has tabled a Commons motion expressing "shock" at the proposal.
So far it has been signed by 43 MPs. As Mr Mitchell points out: "The dominions sprang to our aid when we needed them in two world wars and since. Their inhabitants are of British descent. They are keen to maintain Commonwealth ties and associations with this country."
For good or ill, we are members of the EU and it is part of the deal that all its citizens have an unfettered right to travel to this country, as we do to theirs, to work and settle permanently. But we are so keen on emphasising our European credentials that we are in danger of turning our backs on our own people, who twice in the last century helped rescue Europe from the tyrants who wished to run it.
The cemeteries of France and Belgium are the final resting places for many Commonwealth citizens who lost their lives in defence of this country. Does that count for anything in the Government\’s "consultation" or is this just outdated, old-fashioned thinking?
I think that part of it is that the powers that be see any connection with the Commonwealth as being in opposition to our membership of the EU. That I want us out of the EU is one thing but why the relics of Empire should make us less European I\’m not sure. After all, the remnants of the French Empire, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Pierre and Miquelon, these are all in fact part of the EU themselves. And in receipt of substantial funds of ours.