One-year “vindaloo visas” should be issued to chefs to save the UK’s curry houses, Vince Cable has urged.
The Liberal Democrats leader used a speech at the British Curry Awards to back the move to allow more skilled South Asian chefs to work in Britain.
It comes after Priti Patel led the “Save Our Curry Houses” campaign ahead of the EU referendum, blaming the decline in restaurants on the current immigration system.
Speaking on Monday night, Sir Vince called on the Government to consider issuing temporary one-year working visas to South Asian chefs to help solve what has been dubbed the “curry crisis”.
Last year, industry workers sent a study to Theresa May, then Home Secretary, calling for the so-called “vindaloo visas”.
At the awards event, Sir Vince said: “If there was ever any doubt beforehand, the shortage of curry chefs is now a crisis.
“The government received excellent suggestions on how to solve this problem over 18 months ago, but this well-researched 75-page document has sadly gone ignored.
“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.”
“We need more urgent measures, including what has been dubbed a ‘vindaloo visa’, to save the nation’s favourite cuisine.”
Enam Ali, founder of the British Curry Awards, said three curry restaurants are closing each week because of restrictive policies surrounding immigration.