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Should immigrants to Britain learn English?

Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, has said that immigrants who come to live in Britain need to learn to speak English and that they should ‘respect our way of life’. Mr Javid, who is the son of Pakistani immigrants and the first Asian Secretary of State, said that people are entitled to expect that immigrants should make a contribution to society.

Mr Javid told The Sunday Telegraph ‘People want Britain to have more control over its borders, and I think they are right. People also say, when immigrants do come to Britain, that they should come to work, and make a contribution and that they should also respect our way of life, and I agree with all of that. It means things like trying to learn English.’

The intervention from Mr Javid has come when the Conservatives have come under strong pressure from the UK Independence Party over the issue of immigration with the European elections coming on Thursday. Mr Javid criticised those who had failed to assimilate into British society, despite having lived in the country for many years.

Mr Javid said ‘I know people myself, I have met people who have been in Britain for over 50 years and they still can’t speak English. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for British people to say, look, if you’re going to settle in Britain and make it your home, you should learn the language of the country and you should respect its laws and its culture.’

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