The majority of UK's British-Indian community is expected to vote against a Brexit,a new research survey has suggested. According to the British Election Survey (BES), 51.7% of Indian-origin voters will vote for Britain to remain in the European Union (EU), compared to just 27.74% percent in favour of leaving the 28 member economic bloc.
A significant percentage (nearly 17%) of those who “Don’t Know” is likely to hold the key in the referendum, said to be a knife-edge vote so far, with experts suggesting that their decision could shift the outcome of the referendum on 23rd June
BES surveyed a large sample of 22,000 voters, which found that 'Remain' has a narrow lead of 43% as against 40.5% in favour of 'Leave'.
"The new data indicates that ethnic minority voters could hold the balance of power. While white voters are split evenly, all ethnic minority groups are far more likely to back Remain. However, the data also suggests that turnout could be 20 to 25% lower among ethnic minority voters," the report found.
However, UK Employment Minister and Cameron's Indian diaspora champion said that a Brexit would "boost UK-India relations". High profile NRI politicians in the UK such as the employment minister Priti Patel and Infosys chief Narayan Murthy’s son-in-law Rishi Sunak, have spoken out in favour of Brexit to create a ‘fairer immigration system’ that does not discriminate against non-EU migrants. Even Indian-origin members of the UK parliament have launched a cross party group they have named it as ‘British Indians for IN’ to campaign for Britain to remain a member of the EU. Priti Patel noted that trading links with India would improve when the UK was "not held back by the vested self-interests of the EU".
"Our membership of the EU does not prevent us from allowing people in from Commonwealth countries. It is not a binary decision, either EU or Commonwealth... if you fulfil the criteria; you can come here with a work visa… Anyone suggesting that it would be any different or easier [in the event of Brexit], is suggesting we would water down that criteria. That is misleading and unhelpful ", said UK Foreign Office minister in charge of India, Hugo Swire.
The 'Brexit' is a short term to refer a possible British exit from the European Union (EU). It is a word that owes something to the term 'Grexit', which has been used for several years to refer to the possibility that Greece might leave the euro zone.