A group of British MPs have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce a regional immigration policy under which parts of the UK can control the entry of immigrants based on their local needs.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration said “regional immigration quotas” would lead to better immigration controls and integration.
“Promoting the geographic dispersal of immigrants has been shown by numerous academic studies to lead to higher levels of integration. In contrast, ‘one size fits all’ immigration systems tend to lead to lopsided patterns of chain migration, wherein new immigrants are attracted to areas with high immigrant concentrations,” an APPG’s report said this week.
The report also called on the government to do more to ensure all immigrants speak English as it was “the key to full participation in our society and economy”.
It said immigrants should have either learnt English before coming to the UK or be required to sign up for classes when they arrive.
“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,” said Labour MP Chuka Umunna, chair of the APPG.
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“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,” he said.
The UK government has promised new migration controls once the UK leaves the European Union (EU) but has not yet set out a detailed model.
The UK Home Office said it was not planning to introduce local visa arrangements.
A spokesperson said, “Our country has long been home to lots of different cultures and communities, but all of us have to be part of one society — British society.”
“That is why we are rolling out a 20-million-pound fund for English language provision and have also made 140 million pounds available through the Controlling Migration Fund to local authorities to manage impacts on communities caused by issues such as poor English language skills.
“However, we must also recognise that uncontrolled, mass immigration makes it difficult to maintain social cohesion and puts pressure on public services,” the spokesperson said.