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 Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North 12:31 pm, 20th February 2008

I have to say to the Home Secretary that I am very disappointed by her statement. It is a shame that she did not open by welcoming the fact that we live in a multicultural, multilingual society and the fact that migration has benefited this country culturally and economically in ways that would have been unbelievable to previous generations.

More specifically, if the Home Secretary is insisting that all non-European migrants learn English, what does she propose to do and say about the fact that it would be illegal for her to insist on European migrants learning English? To follow the point made by my hon. Friend Ms Abbott, why is the Home Secretary expecting non-European migrants in this country to pay for the economic needs of European migrants, who obviously are having a big and often very beneficial effect on our public services and our society? Can she not be a bit more inclusive and note the fact that we live in a multicultural, multilingual society?