David Cameron Says Immigrants Should Learn English
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, David Cameron said immigrants should be able to speak English within two and a half years of entering the country, or face the risk of deportation.
He said that there were about 40,000 women in Britain unable to speak English, and a further 190,000 with only a basic comprehension of the language. This inevitably held them back. He also emphasised that the subject was strongly linked to regressive practises, such as Muslim men keeping women confined within the home when there was no male relative around.
“This is happening in our country and it is not acceptable. We should be very proud or our values, our liberalism, our tolerance.”
“We are one of the most successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracies in the world. Where there is segregation it is holding people back, it is not in tune with British values and it needs to go.”
When asked if the English language changes could result in the separation of mothers from their children he responded:
“You can’t guarantee you’ll be able to stay if you’re not improving your language. It is tough but people coming to our country have responsibility too.”
A £20 million fund will be setup to teach new language skills to immigrants, whilst the immigration rules will come into force in October.
The Prime Minister emphasised that this was part of a bigger initiative, to put an end to segregated communities in the country, and to create a more cohesive society.
Writing in ‘The Times‘, he pursued his argument:
All too often, because of what I would call ‘passive tolerance’, people subscribe to the flawed idea of separate development.
It is time to change our approach. We will never truly build one nation unless we are more assertive about our liberal values, more clear about the expectations we place on those who come to live here and build our country together and more creative and generous in the work we do to break down barriers.
And this is a challenge that government cannot meet on its own. I do want every part of government to play its part – health visitors, job centres, nurseries, schools – but we all have a shared responsibility to tackle prejudice and bigotry, and help integration.
Why does this matter so much? Because we don’t just need a strong economy to thrive, we have to build a strong society.
This is Britain. In this country, women and girls are free to choose how they live, how they dress and who they love. It’s our values that make this country what it is, and it’s only by standing up for them assertively that they will endure.
Britain has a claim to be the most successful multi-faith, multi-racial democracy on the planet. We got here because we fought and won those long struggles for liberty, equality and mutual tolerance.
But the job of building a more cohesive country is never complete. With English language and women’s empowerment as our next frontier, I believe we can bring Britain together and build the stronger society that is within reach.
Additional information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/passive-tolerance-of-separate-communities-must-end-says-pm