Author Archive for BFTemp

How to talk to the British about identity and Europe

When people head to the polls on 23 June to cast their ballots in the EU referendum, they will not be making a decision about Europe, but about Britain

British Future is recruiting for a new Director of Strategy and Relationships

British Future is recruiting for a new Director of Strategy and Relationships

Would Brexit end Britain? A tale of two unions

As Nicola Sturgeon uses a speech in London to set out her case for why the UK should vote to stay in the EU, Sunder Katwala asks what the implications of the EU referendum might be for Scotland and its relationship with the rest of the UK.

Why it’s time for an Office for Citizenship and Integration in London

On the anniversary of Britain’s first citizenship ceremony, a new report says that Britain has ‘forgotten’ the value of citizenship and the importance of proactively promoting better integration - and calls on the Capital to lead the way.

Net migration: will PM be relieved to be 200k over his target?

"When the PM and Home Secretary are both relieved to see net migration at over 300,000, it shows how far removed from reality the sub-100,000 target really is," said British Future in response to new ONS immigration statistics.

Having your cake and eating it on immigration leaves voters feeling sick

Both sides in the EU referendum debate are trying to have their cake and eat it on immigration. It's a diet that's leaving voters feeling rather bilious, writes Steve Ballinger

Leicester Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs come together to learn shared WW1 history

A new Leicester project is bringing together members of the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities to learn and celebrate their shared history of contribution to Britain in the First World War.

Can Labour voices engage sceptical voters on Europe?

Advocates on all sides of the EU debate, including Labour voices, will need to do much more to reach the undecided voters who will determine the outcome of the referendum, says Sunder Katwala

New refugee poll shows a humane but anxious nation

A new ComRes poll for the BBC shows a conflicting picture of British public attitudes to the refugee crisis. Can people be sympathetic to those fleeing war and abuse in Syria, while still being worried about how we handle the numbers? The answer, writes Steve Ballinger, is that they can – and they are.

Steven Woolfe – Reaching Out: the referendum challenge

In the run-up to the public vote, British Future will engage leading voices on all sides of the debate, asking them to set out the competing visions of the future which they believe can win the confidence and support of modern Britain. In this speech Steven Woolfe, UKIP immigration spokesman, sets out his view of the positive vision with which the Leave campaign can win the EU referendum.

Is the EU referendum any business of business?

Can the business community sit out the EU referendum until it all blows over? asks British Future trustee Simon Clark

Why speaking English matters – for everyone

New British Future trustee Imam Qari Asim on the Prime Minister's visit to his Leeds Mosque - and why the PM's push to get more people speaking English is important for everyone, not just British Muslims

Skills to pay the bills – why we need a return of the MAC

One doesn’t really have to read between the lines to see what the Migration Advisory Committee thinks about the risks to business and the economy of changes to skilled migration rules.

Making integration work

As the Prime Minister sets out proposals on Muslim integration and anti-discrimination, the following extracts from British Future’s pamphlet 'How to talk about immigration' examine the importance of integration, and specific integration challenges facing British Muslims.

Final nail in coffin of British fascism as BNP struck off party list

The final nail was hammered into the coffin of fascism in Britain today, as the Electoral Commission struck the BNP off the register of political parties. But it was the British public who really condemned fascism to death at the ballot box, with a 99% drop in support at the 2015 General Election.

How (not) to talk about Europe

A new pamphlet by British Future explores how and why the referendum remains up for grabs for both sides

Women will decide the EU referendum – so why are the campaigns so blokeish?

Women voters have the power to decide the EU referendum, write Deborah Mattinson and Sunder Katwala - if they choose to take it.

Immigration: public deserves straight answers in EU referendum debate

For much of Britain, writes Sunder Katwala, immigration is the big question of the EU referendum. Yet voters risk being denied the straight answers on immigration that they need.

Britain’s Big Decision on EU needs a big referendum

The EU referendum will give Britons one of the most important choices in a generation, writes Sunder Katwala. Yet many voters are undecided, unaware or simply not bothered. We think such a big decision needs a big referendum – one that engages as much of the country as possible in the choice we all have to make.

A big referendum could be good for our democracy. It gives more legitimacy to the decision we make as a country – whichever way it goes, In or Out.

We all saw the effect that Scotland’s independence referendum had on its politics, engaging a nation and securing the highest turnout for any UK vote. A few people will also remember 2011’s referendum on electoral reform – which few people noticed or took part in. It’s clear which one we should be trying to emulate.

The EU referendum is an opportunity to take politics out of the Westminster bubble and into people’s town halls and front rooms. We shouldn’t miss that chance.

The Third Campaign should be allocated free-to-air broadcasting during the campaign period, with a specific focus on engaging groups of voters who are least likely to vote – and who could vote either way. Younger voters are thought to be more pro-European, while unskilled workers are usually more Eurosceptic. The Third Campaign would seek to engage with young voters, unskilled workers, rural voters, ethnic minorities and with non-graduate women– as some of the groups likely to need more encouragement to take part.

It would also seek to attract pro bono support from the great and good of advertising and PR and provide employers, schools and colleges, charities and the media with impartial advice on how they can support the effort to get everybody involved in making Britain’s big decision, while remaining neutral on the referendum question.

 

The independence, integrity and neutrality of such a campaign would be paramount. It should be overseen by the Electoral Commission and by representatives of the rival ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ campaigns to ensure it remains non-partisan.

Kenny Imafidon of political engagement campaigners Bite the Ballot, who are backing calls for a Third Campaign, said:

“It is essential we inspire voters to get engaged in political discussions about the pros and cons of Europe, replicating the success of Scotland’s referendum which breathed new life into its politics.

“Both campaigns must ensure that participation is their first priority and second, that they present facts and avoid sensationalised stories that prevent people from making informed decisions.

“This is a massive decision for all citizens here in the UK and one that we should not leave to others to make for us! Everyone must have a say.”

Eurosceptic Daniel Hannan MEP said:

“I support this challenge for all sides to push for a high participation referendum. ​I hope the referendum becomes a kind of collective…

The EU referendum will give Britons one of the most important choices in a generation, writes Sunder Katwala. Yet many voters are undecided, unaware or simply not bothered. We think such a big decision needs a big referendum – one that engages as much of the country as possible in the choice we all have

EU benefits reform may reassure voters, but PM shouldn’t over-claim immigration impact

David Cameron’s EU benefits reforms could have more impact on public opinion than his critics acknowledge. But they won't slash immigration, writes Sunder Katwala