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Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 11:41:17 EDT 2018


 Sajid Javid backs plans for stricter citizenship rules after Brexit

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Sajid Javid backs plans for stricter citizenship rules after Brexit

At Tory party conference, home secretary announces immigration overhaul

Jamie Grierson <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/jamie-grierson> and Peter
Walker <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/peterwalker>

Tue 2 Oct 2018 16.42 EDT First published on Tue 2 Oct 2018 07.52 EDT

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Sajid Javid interviewed by Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner – video

The government has announced stricter immigration and citizenship rules to
come into place after Brexit, with Sajid Javid
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/sajid-javid> later telling the
Guardian’s editor-in-chief Katharine Viner that he was unworried by the
suggestion such rules would have prevented his own father entering the UK.

The home secretary used his speech to the Conservative party conference to
say people seeking British citizenship would face tougher English-language
requirements, part of an immigration overhaul that will include the end of
free movement from the EU.
All Tuesday's big events at the Tory party conference – as they happened
Read more

In a broad speech set to intensify speculation about his leadership
ambitions, Javid unveiled plans for a beefed-up “British values test” to
replace the Life in the UK test for those looking to settle in the country.

Overnight, he and Theresa May had announced proposals for a
<https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/02/eu-citizens-lose-priority-under-post-brexit-immigration-plans>single
immigration system
<https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/02/eu-citizens-lose-priority-under-post-brexit-immigration-plans>
that treats people from EU countries the same as those from non-EU
countries. Highly skilled workers who want to live and work in Britain
would be given priority, while low-skilled immigration would be curbed.
Advertisement
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Speaking later in an interview on the conference fringe with Viner, the
home secretary said he was not concerned by the thought that under such a
regime his father, who arrived from Pakistan in 1961 with £1 and no skills,
would be barred from entry.

When his father came, Javid said, the entry system was very different as
the governments of the time “wanted, needed, a route for low-skilled
migration”.

Asked if it made him sad this would no longer be the case, he said: “No, it
doesn’t make me feel sad. Actually, with today’s policy it makes me very
optimistic about our future. Because what I have also set out is that we
will remain the global-outlook nation that welcomes people from across the
world, no matter where they’re from.”
Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to
you
Read more

In his speech, Javid announced plans aimed at improving integration and
described the current Life in the UK test as a “pub quiz”.

“It’s about integration, not segregation,” he said. “And I’m determined to
break down barriers to integration wherever I find them. Take, for example,
the most basic barrier of all: language.”

Javid said 700,000 people living in the UK could not speak English.

“As home secretary, I will apply these principles to those who arrive in
our country. So not only will there be a new values test but we will also
strengthen the English-language requirements for all new citizens.”

Highly skilled migrants coming to the UK on a work visa will not face
tougher language requirements than those already in place, the Guardian
understands.

Javid said earlier he would consider scrapping the cap on the number of
highly skilled migrants as part of the post-Brexit plan. The limit is
currently 20,000.

Applicants will need to meet a minimum salary threshold – for highly
skilled migrants this currently stands at £30,000 – but Javid has hinted
that this will be reviewed.

In his speech in the main hall, the home secretary said: “Thanks to the
[Brexit] referendum we now have a unique opportunity to reshape our
immigration system for the future.

“A skills-based, single system that is opened up to talent from across the
world. A system that doesn’t discriminate between any one region or
country. A system based on merit. That judges people not by where they are
from, but on what they can do.

“What people want – and they will get – is control of our own system. With
a lower, and sustainable level of net migration. And, above all, that has
to mean one thing: an end to freedom of movement.”

The government has said it intends to publish a white paper this autumn and
a bill the following year, meaning it is highly unlikely MPs will get to
vote on the legislation before the UK leaves the EU in March.

In the interview with Viner, Javid, who has previously spoken about how his
mother did not learn to speak English until more than decade after she
arrived in the UK, talked about his anger at the unfair targeting of people
from the Windrush generation by immigration enforcement.

“The first thing that went through my mind is that it could have been my
parents,” he said. “Imagine if this was my mum or my uncle, someone who had
lived in Britain their whole life, contributed so much, being detained or,
worse, removed from the country.”

But Javid vehemently rejected that the post-2010 Conservative government
had been primarily responsible for the Windrush crisis with the so-called
hostile environment policy, saying a lot of it had begun under Labour.

“If people portray this as a problem that happened under a Tory government,
it’s incorrect. It’s either bad reporting or a deliberate attempt to twist
the fact,” he said.

Javid, who again spoke about a range of subjects well beyond his official
brief, was similarly blunt about Labour’s interventionist economic
policies, saying: “The trouble is, Jeremy Corbyn really believes what he
says. And he’s completely deluded.”

Elsewhere in his speech, he announced a package of new measures to tackle
forced marriage, including proposals to refuse spousal entry to the UK
where there is evidence a marriage is forced.
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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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