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Voters of Polish origin should choose the Liberal Democrats

May 6, 2015 1:44 PM
By Tad Jones - PPC for Nottingham East
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

People of Polish origin have contacted Liberal Democrat candidates with their concerns. These include; a lack of recognition of the positive contribution of Polish immigrants in the UK, media reports falsely labelling Nazi concentration camps as "Polish", AQA scrapping the Polish A-level, and what would happen to EU citizens who have settled here if the UK left the EU.

Dr Tadeusz Jones, Liberal Democrat candidate for Nottingham East, said:

"As someone with a Polish background, I understand the concerns of these constituents. I know that Poles have made a valuable contribution to this country, not just since 2004 with EU enlargement, but also earlier after the Second World War. It is quite insulting for people whose parents and grandparents fought against the Nazis to hear of concentration camps being referred to as Polish. There is no excuse for such sloppiness or ignorance.

For a number of years I went to Polish Saturday school in Nottingham and know how important such classes are to various communities. You don't need to ignore your heritage to feel British and play a full role in life here. We should encourage children to learn foreign languages as it can give you an edge when entering the job market, and I hope AQA reverse their decision.

We know that immigrants, including Poles, pay more in tax than the amount they use in public services. There are 1.7 million EU citizens in the UK and it would be wrong to disrupt their lives by removing their right to remain in the UK. It could also harm our economy. I believe we benefit from being in the EU and should not leave, but if 'Brexit' occurred I would support giving EU citizens indefinite leave to remain."

The Liberal Democrats are the most pro-EU party in the UK. We support the freedom of movement across the EU which has allowed many thousands of Poles to come to the UK and 5,600 British people to go to Poland. The Liberal Democrats believe the UK should be at the centre of the EU. The Liberal Democrats are committed to working with our allies, including Poland, to strengthen and reform, where necessary, important international institutions like the EU.

The Coalition Government have written to the exam board to ask them to protect the qualification and reverse the decision to cancel the Polish A-Level. The Liberal Democrats support the inclusion of foreign languages on the National Curriculum from the age of seven.