West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver highlighted the UK’s strengths at the British Bangladeshi Business Awards.
Speaking at the event in Birmingham on Sunday, he said our “diverse heritage” would help the country move forward after Brexit to re-establish a place on the global stage.
He said: “Being British is more than just a birthright, and must never be judged on the basis of someone’s ancestry, skin colour or religion.
“Britain is, by its very nature, diverse, thus affording us a greater perspective and understanding of the wider world that we live in.
“As our country moves towards the next chapter in our history, and as we re-engage globally, one of our great strengths will be the advantage that we are afforded, through the historic family and business ties enjoyed by the many Brits, like us, by virtue of our own diverse heritage.
“I say that the world is our oyster and these global family ties will help us all to reach that pearl within it.”
Mr Carver, whose grandfather was a Polish immigrant, said he understood the “struggle and determination” shown by the British Bangladeshi community.
Before presenting some of the awards at the city’s New Bingley Hall, he spoke of the “great contribution that British Bangladeshis play in the evolving success story of our country”.
Mr Carver was one of several special guests, which also included Labour MPs Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) and Sir Alan Meale, (Mansfield) along with Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire Alistair Burt.