Immigrants Must Speak English to Be Truly British, Public Says

Immigrants Must Speak English to Be Truly British, Public Says

People in Britain have tougher attitudes on immigration and state welfare, and are setting a higher requirement for what it takes for an immigrant to be regarded as British.

The British Social Attitudes Survey found that 95 percent of Brits think you must speak English to be “truly British”, a rise of nine percent since 2003.

More than three quarters also say you must have lived in Britain your whole life, while a small majority -51 percent – think you must also have British ancestry. Seventy-four percent also think it is important to be born in Britain.

The study also found that 61 percent also think all immigrants, including those from the European Union, should have to wait at least three years before claiming state benefits.

Under current EU rules, migrants from other EU countries are allowed free access to Britain, and any attempt to curb their access to state benefits would be regarded by Brussels as illegal.

A quarter of Brits think that immigrants only come to Britain to claim benefits, while only 27 percent think immigrants who are not British citizens should have the same rights as people who are – down from 40 percent.

Penny Young, chief executive of NatCen Social Research, who conducted the survey, said: “In an increasingly diverse, multi-cultural country, we might expect people to be more relaxed about what it means to be British, yet the trend is going in the opposite direction.

“It is now harder to be considered British than in the past and one message comes through loud and clear, if you want to be British, you must speak English.

“And as we debate whether UKIP’s vote will hold up in the General Election, British Social Attitudes shows that the public is yet to be convinced that politicians have got a grip on immigration.

“They want tougher rules on benefits and many are unaware of the policies that are in place to control immigration.”

Over the last decade, the New Labour government let in a record number of immigrants to Britain. They hoped to turn Britain into a multicultural society, but this survey reveals that the vast majority of Brits now reject multiculturalism and that mass immigration has hardened attitudes towards integration.