Author Archive for BFTemp
British Asians voted for both Remain and Leave in significant numbers. The ability of the Leave campaign to win Asian as well as white votes undoubtedly made a significant contribution to results in Bradford, Leicester and Birmingham. Yet the Leave campaign arguably still underperformed with British Asian voters.
Responding to Britain’s historic referendum decision to leave the EU, Sunder Katwala, Director of independent identity and integration thinktank British Future, said:
“This historic vote presents a big challenge to our political leaders. Not just Prime Minister David Cameron but just as importantly his colleagues who have led the Leave campaign to victory – Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. How they react to this moment will help to set the national mood in the days ahead.
“This was a close decision, one made by peaceful, democratic means, and a decision we must all now respect. Those who have disagreed during the campaign must now come together and ensure we all get the best Brexit for Britain – one that respects the voters’ decision, ensures our prosperity and reflects our values of tolerance, fairness and openness to the rest of the world.
“The vote to Leave was a public vote of no confidence: in the Remain campaign; in the EU as the best way to pursue the UK’s interests; and in how governments have handled immigration.
“On immigration, the government will need to listen to the voters and rebuild the public trust that has been eroded by unkept promises. Most people want immigration managed competently and fairly: they don’t feel the pressures have been dealt with properly but they do still want to keep the benefits of immigration to our economy and our society.
“We now need to hear a clear message from both sides of the referendum debate, and from the government, that this was not a vote to slam the borders shut or to stir up prejudice against those Europeans already living among us as workmates, neighbours and friends.
“There is real and understandable anxiety among the 3 million EU migrants who live in Britain about what the Leave vote means for them. The best response to that would be an unequivocal statement – from politicians and the British people – that this is their home and they continue to be welcome here.”
British Future has launched a Change.or petition, ‘Tell EU migrants in UK: This is your home, you are welcome here‘
Sunder Katwala is Director of British Future and co-author of ‘How (not) to talk about Europe’ (British Future, 2016)Responding to Britain’s historic referendum decision to leave the EU, Sunder Katwala, Director of independent identity and integration thinktank British Future, said: “This historic vote presents a big challenge to our political leaders. Not just Prime Minister David Cameron but just as importantly his colleagues who have led the Leave campaign to victory – Boris Johnson
The EU Referendum was not a vote for a Government, writes Nicolas Webb. While the Leave campaign did attempt to put forward ideas for how a post-Brexit Britain could make decisions. They were simply not in a position to credibly set out a programme for Government.
While it was not their task to do so, the lack of such a plan has allowed people to overlay their own interpretation of what post-Brexit Britain would look like. This allowed voters to develop their own take as to what a Leave outcome would look like. Similarly, many explanations have been put forward by commentators and opponents as to what motivated those who voted Leave to do so. A few have been guilty of simplistic smears suggesting a Leave vote equates with intolerance. In fact, the formal Leave campaign was predominantly run by classical liberals who see a free-market Britain trading with the World and movement of people as part of a globalised World.
The referendum is now behind us. With the initial shock of the result subsiding there still remain a great many questions. Not all of these need to be answered instantly. The date of Brexit is at least two years away. Organisations, including Government, had prepared to deliver business as usual while the negotiation with the EU is carried out.
Where a strong message does need to come forth rapidly is on the broad nature of what post-Brexit Britain will be like.
No serious politician has suggested that EU citizens currently living in the UK will lose their right to do so. Nonetheless, the Prime Minister saw it as necessary to reiterate that there would be no threat to them. He was right to reassure. Between some Leave supporters using the language of xenophobia and a few in the Remain camp seeking to smear the most extreme views of a minority as the collective view of Leave voters, an atmosphere of concern has developed. This has been an ugly campaign which has frequently been considerably removed from the actual matter being voted upon.
What was voted upon was who would make decisions but not what those decisions would be. On the matter of immigration, some will have voted Leave on the basis that they want the overall number of migrants entering the country reduced, some will have had in mind the bias which exists towards EU citizens and against those from elsewhere in the World, others will support current migration levels but simply think that the decision making should be in the UK rather than on an EU-wide basis.
The existing, and unimplementable within the EU, Government policy of a reduction from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands may be achievable post-Brexit, but by no means will it be desirable. What was a bad policy proposed prior to the 2010 General Election, is unlikely to be a good or relevant policy in 2018 or 2019.
People all over the world will gather today to honour Jo Cox MP and to show that we have #MoreInCommon than that which divides us. Steve Ballinger details today's events and what they hope to achieve.
This week Refugee Week, the UK’s biggest cultural celebration of refugees, takes place with over 400 events planned across the UK, making this the biggest celebration to date writes Mike Hough. As the refugee situation across Europe continues, this annual celebration of the contribution made by refugees to British society provides an opportunity for people up and down the country to stand in solidarity with refugees.
More Refugee Week events are happening this year than ever before, reflecting the public’s desire to help. This year’s theme is “welcome” with case studies available illustrating how the British public have welcomed refugees into their communities.
The contributions of individual refugees to British society will also be celebrated with a new “I am a refugee” initiative, which will see plaques celebrating individuals who came to the UK as refugees – like Freddie Mercury, Rita Ora and Alek Wek – appearing on buildings across the UK during the week.
There are many highlights to the week including Making Stories: A Refugee Week special at the British Museum; the award-winning film Beats of the Antonov at the British Film Institute; and major events in in towns and cities all over the country:
In Nottingham, events will take place across Refugee Week, including a world food night, theatre performances and special film screenings at the New Art Exchange. In Bradford there will be an International Refugee Festival with free entertainment, workshops and family activities.
In Leicester, a city that has welcomed hundreds of refugees from Syria there will be a Refugee Week Celebration in the Town Square.
In addition to the events, a t-shirt designed by Marios Schwab and Studio Moross has been produced to celebrate refugees and the theme of welcome.
Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council and Chair of Refugee Week summarises by saying:
“Now more than ever, as refugees continue to seek protection in Europe, it’s vital that we welcome them to the UK.
“Simple acts of kindness have helped people who’ve fled the horrors of war, violence and oppression in Syria and other troubled parts of the world to feel safe and secure in Britain. That’s something we can all be proud of.”
A full list of events and how you can get involved can be found at http://refugeeweek.org.uk/.This week Refugee Week, the UK’s biggest cultural celebration of refugees, takes place with over 400 events planned across the UK, making this the biggest celebration to date writes Mike Hough. As the refugee situation across Europe continues, this annual celebration of the contribution made by refugees to British society provides an opportunity for people up and down