Despite the United Kingdom’s strict migration policies and plans for a cap on non-EU migrants, new British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the presence of the 250,000 UK based Filipinos and praised their “considerable” contribution to the country’s economy and health.
“Their contribution to the United Kingdom, particularly in the health and care sectors, is considerable and we welcome their presence here, helping to strengthen the links between our countries,” he said in a letter to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo.
“Our business links with the Philippines are also significant and we are proud to be the largest European source of foreign direct investment in the Philippines,” he added.
At the same time, Hague affirmed the United Kingdom’s commitment to continue and work with the Philippines on building a lasting peace in Mindanao.
“Our commitment to a strong and prosperous Philippines can have no clearer demonstration than our membership of the International Contact Group assisting the Mindanao Peace Process,” he said.
Hague thanked Romulo for his congratulations on his appointment last month as British foreign secretary. Hague’s letter was conveyed to Romulo by British Ambassador Stephen Lillie.
Aside from its participation in the Mindanao peace process, Hague said other recent areas of cooperation between the United Kingdom and the Philippines serve as a “solid foundation” to “strengthen relations” between the two countries, as in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. .
Hague thanked Ambassador Libran Cabactulan for the Philippines’ Presidency of the conference, and praised Cabactulan’s leadership, hard work, and tireless efforts to bring delegations together and secure a successful final outcome.
“We now have, for the first time, a clear action plan to strengthen international cooperation in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, in pursuing nuclear disarmament and in promoting the safe and secure use of peaceful nuclear energy, as well as a way forward on a Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Source: Inquirer.net, Manila.
The new Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition government has promised to impose an annual limit on the number of non-EU migrants coming into Britain.
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