Relations between Turkey and the U.K. will further develop after Brexit, a Turkish-British candidate for the European Parliament said.
Neva Kadioglu-Novaky, a conservative and the only Turkish origin Briton running for an EP seat in this week's elections, said Brexit will pave way for a possible reform in trade between Turkey and the U.K.
"The present EU-Customs Union agreement between Turkey and the bloc necessitates Turkey to open its markets to a third country if the EU signs a trade deal with that country but that country does not have to open its markets to Turkey," she explained.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Novaky said: "Turkish-origin people in the U.K. contributed to the economy and society in this country. British citizens with Turkish background such as myself are a bridge between the two countries," she said.
Speaking about the negative use of Turkey and Turkish citizens in the Brexit campaign prior to the 2016 referendum, Novaky said she believed that "our focus should be the future instead of the Brexit referendum campaign which took place 2 years ago."
Leave campaign had used Turkey's possible EU membership as a threat to the U.K. and unjustifiably said more than 70 million Turks would pour into the country if the U.K. remained as a member, in a claim widely rejected as groundless.
She said: "The rising votes of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) and far-right parties make me sad. This is a matter of concern. However, the reason for their rising vote now is their firm stance in the Brexit issue. Their rise is not related to Islamophobia but their demand to depart from the EU."
Underlining that the far-right defends the departure from the EU at all costs, Novaky said: "The Conservative Party attaches importance to a Brexit that would protect citizens' rights and economic interests."
Novaky said it is easier to be a young female Turkish politician in the U.K. than being one in the EU.
She said: The Turkish community in the U.K., unfortunately, has not been active in the Conservative Party and involved in politics in general terms.
"That's why there has not been an MP from the Turkish community yet. I hope this will change in the coming years. But I would like to emphasize that my Turkish identity has never been a negative factor in the British political arena."
Novaky, who was born in Turkey but grew up in the U.K., will enter the election as a candidate from the southeast election region that consists of the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex.
Approximately 374 million EU citizens will go to polls between 23-26 May to elect new members of the European Parliament.
The U.K. is joining the election as the Brexit process could not be completed in time. A Brexit extension has been granted to the U.K. until the end of October by the EU after the previous deadlines of March 31 and April 12 were reached without a deal to depart the bloc.
Source: Anadolu Agency