Neil O’Brien is Director of Policy Exchange, an independent think tank working for better public services, a stronger society and a more dynamic economy. He writes in a personal capacity.
As English stops being the first language of most London children, is Britain ready for the great integration challenge?
There is a lot of discussion in the media about immigration, but relatively little about integration. Leaving aside how many people should come to the UK, or who they should be, shouldn’t we think a bit more about what happens to people once they get here?
In other countries (I’m thinking of Canada in particular) the government and voluntary groups make big efforts to make people feel like they fit in. In the UK we have had a much more laissez-faire approach. By and large it has worked out OK: new migrants developed regional accents, adopted football teams, and felt British.