Earned Citizenship

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 20th February 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary 12:31 pm, 20th February 2008

I strongly agree with my hon. Friend about the benefits of clear status. That is why it is an objective of what we are proposing today that there should be a fair, clear and transparent route through probationary citizenship to British citizenship. She is right to say that we need that system to be clear and fair.

As I said to my hon. Friend Mr. Singh, we are talking about an additional fund that will enable us—in ways, for example, that the Migration Impact Forum is already identifying—to deal with short-term transitional issues of migration that might impact on communities. It is, quite rightly, additional to the considerable sums that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is making available through local government and for community cohesion, and that we are making available across government to support English language teaching and the impact on schools of population changes in areas. We recognise the concerns around this issue, and I think that the additional impact that we can make with the fund will be widely welcomed.