Barriers to Britishness


This report from UK think tank British Future reports on the Alberto Costa Inquiry into citizenship policy.

Barriers to Britishness sets out the findings and recommendations of a year-long independent inquiry into citizenship policy chaired by Alberto Costa MP. It urges the UK to take a more positive and welcoming approach to citizenship, with Brexit presenting an opportunity for a major overhaul of citizenship policy. Citizenship ceremonies should become higher-profile, public-facing and celebratory events, held in iconic locations with members of the local community invited to welcome new arrivals. The inquiry finds that citizenship is prohibitively expensive, placing it out of reach to frontline key workers who want to become British. Families in particular are penalised, with a family of four needing to spend up to £5,000 to become British citizens. The inquiry recommends that the Government makes citizenship by registration free of charge, a move that would mainly affect children. It should also allow children born in the UK to be British automatically by birthright. The Government has committed to review the English language requirements for citizenship and also to review the content of the Life in the UK test, which people must pass to gain citizenship. The inquiry is critical of the Life in the UK test, which it says contains too much trivia and does not encourage debate and dialogue about our shared values.

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