THE BLOG
24/02/2015 05:38 GMT | Updated 22/04/2015 06:59 BST

Leave the EU? We'd Rather Leave the UK If Ukip Comes Into Power!

As a hardworking Polish migrant in Britain, the thought of Nigel Farage sticking on the kettle at Number 10 is a terrifying thought. But, like the million viewers across the country who tuned in, we were forced to picture this distressing scenario during Channel 4's UKIP: The First 100 Days last Monday.

Set in a horrible parallel universe where UKIP narrowly wins a majority at the general election, the film fused real news footage with a fictional take on the party's policies including a draconian anti-immigration clampdown.

Regardless of my opinions of Farage and the mockumentary itself, it certainly made for uncomfortable viewing and provoked debate on an issue that will be key in the run up to the general election.

As a migrant and an entrepreneur who has chosen London as the city I wanted to build my life and a business, the UKIP proposition seems at odds to what I believe are British values. This country was built on international trade and has for centuries been a melting pot where people from all over the world have come to make their mark. The thought of this progress being halted should be of great concern to British citizens.

Contrary to the tall tales that Farage and his followers are peddling, migrants aren't flooding over the borders to steal 'our jobs"; on the contrary, migrants are some of the hardest working and most entrepreneurial people and are making a lasting contribution in modern Britain.

Migrant workers are the back-bone of the NHS and power the hospitality industry. We are the sporting super stars plying our trade in the most exciting leagues in the world (Mo Farah and Kevin Pietersen). And we are the entrepreneurs, building new businesses and creating jobs here in Britain.

My startup, Azimo, is a product of that entrepreneurial spirit. Serving the international migrants, we allow them to send money home online and from mobile. From a UK-only base when we started in 2012, we have rapidly grown and now operate across the UK and in 19 Eurozone countries.

It goes without saying that, as a growing UK Fintech company, the anti-immigration and anti-EU policies that UKIP are flirting with don't sit well from a business perspective either. Being able to expand rapidly is down to the European free market. The ability to attract skilled multi-lingual talent and operate across the continent without the barriers of individual state regulation is vital to technology companies like ours. It's also crucial in ensuring that London, and the UK as a whole, remains an attractive location for businesses and for people to relocate to in pursuit of exciting job opportunities.

For all its perceived problems, if British people gave in and subscribed to UKIP's isolationist view of the world and departed the EU, they would be cutting themselves off from one of the world's most ambitious and effective economic and social partnerships. The EU provides access to a huge, prosperous market as well as access to a ready supply of human capital.

And while politicians are quick to jump on the anti-immigration bandwagon, in my experience, it's nearly always the case that these migrants work harder than average. They have taken the risk to pack their bags, leave family and friends behind and travel thousands of miles to start a new life. What's more, all the evidence clearly shows that migrant workers contribute more to the economy and claim less in benefits than the average Brit.

UKIP won't make it to power, but it may be the case that the EU exit door is slightly ajar. We must keep perspective and realise that a 'Brexit' would be economically disastrous. It would cripple London as a financial centre, hamstring UK businesses as well as do huge damage to 'brand Britain'. As a business, Azimo would likely have to set up offices in Berlin, Dublin or Amsterdam and perhaps leave the UK all together. And we certainly wouldn't be the only company to do so.