‘A Britishness test?! but what IS Britishness?’
The Life in the United Kingdom test is a computer-based test for individuals seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or naturalisation as a British citizen. The test is a requirement under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.
It’s existed for a while, but every time this test is revised a new set of articles get written up acting like it’s a new thing. Each answer will be personal/political/ideological, impossible to reconcile, and thus recognizably useless for any practical purpose.
This is specifically what is being changed.
May also wants to drop sections of the official Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship handbook, which explains things such as the Human Rights Act and how to claim welfare benefits and give details of managing everyday life such as reading the gas meter, getting home contents insurance or dealing with the local council.
Instead, Conservative ministers want to tell new migrants that Britain is “historically” a Christian country with a “long and illustrious history”
A Home Office official said: “It’s a move away from the old one – stuff on rights, practical info that has little to do with British culture – to one that is clear about responsibilities and requires people to have a grounding in our history.”
People exist in types: British or American or Polish or whatever nationality you’ve been saddled with. For the purposes of this test they exist in two: The British and the Immigrant; Us and The Outsider. To come into our country you must learn about the essential nature of Us, which is primarily that our nature is essential.
This is not for the benefit of people wanting to get into our country, it’s for the people already living in it, reading about ‘the debate’ in the Guardian.
A focus on history is not intended to frame Britain within a historical context, that is to say limit it. No, it is to show that ‘Britain’ is constant, essential, unchangeable, and that at best you may live in it.
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