Commonwealth countries could be offered a new “fast track” visa system in the aftermath of Brexit, under plans promoted by almost 50 Conservative MPs.
In a letter to home secretary Amber Rudd, 45 Tory backbenchers have called for the UK to “extend the hand of friendship to our Commonwealth partners”.
The MPs, who include former ministers Shailesh Vara, Tim Loughton and Sir Henry Bellingham, published their demands on the Telegraph's website.
Under their proposals, Commonwealth citizens coming to the UK could go through dedicated passport controls designed to accelerate entry.
In addition, signs at border control should be altered to specifically welcome visitors from the Commonwealth
“The lack of consideration for Commonwealth citizens is at its starkest at our border. In 2015, the last year for which figures are readily available, from Australia, Canada and India alone, Britain welcomed 2.2m visitors who spent over £2bn,” the letter states.
“These three Commonwealth states are consistently found among the top five non-EEA nationalities arriving in the UK and travel for both business and pleasure.
“However, while EU citizens are collecting their luggage or exchanging greetings with loved ones, our Commonwealth friends wait tirelessly in the “All other passports” queue.”
The campaign is being led by Lancashire MP Jake Berry, who has previously been at the forefront of calls for a new Royal yacht.
The UK will host a meeting of Commonwealth trade ministers next month.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "Voters made it clear during the referendum that they wanted the country to take back control of immigration. This government will deliver on that by building an immigration system that works for everyone.
"Once we have left the European Union it will be the government that sets our immigration rules.”
Did your MP sign? The full list of 45 Tories petitioning Amber Rudd.