APPG proposes new legislation for UK immigration

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration has called on the government to make it a requirement for immigrants to learn English before coming to the UK, in a report into how the UK’s immigration system could more effectively promote integration.

The report will be launched at the British Academy in London by Chuka Umunna MP, chair of the APPG.

In the report, the group of MPs proposed: the government should look at introducing a regionally-led immigration system with region-specific visas based on the Canadian model; immigrants should be required to learn English before coming to live in the UK, or be enrolled in compulsory classes when they arrive; a new national Government strategy for the integration of immigrants that includes issues such as access to the labour market, awareness of the UK’s laws, traditions and culture; councils should set up local integration action plans, a new Controlling Migration Fund and the immediate introduction of an Integration Impact Fund; and ministers to recognise that integration is a two way street requiring action on the part of newcomers and host communities.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Umunna said: “It’s clear that immigration has impacted on different communities in different ways and the pace of change has alarmed many. The government has a duty to address the lack of integration of immigrants if it is to address this. Failing to do so has left a vacuum for extremists and peddlers of hate to exploit.

“We now need a meaningful integration programme which works for all parts of the UK and an immigration policy which allows all to celebrate and look beyond our differences - a middle way between the laissez-faire multiculturalism favoured by successive British governments and the assimilationist politics of the French Burkini ban.

“In the wake of the Brexit vote, we must develop a new approach to immigration which works for everyone in our country and helps us rebuild a divided nation - a system with integration at its heart.”

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