What's new at British Future

May 2021

Dear friends

What might UK immigration look like in the future? News this week of an extension to the Youth Mobility Scheme, allowing more young Indian citizens to work in the UK, shows how efforts to sign post-Brexit trade deals could lead to changes in immigration policy.

From the pace of post-Covid recovery to the points-based system and new arrivals from Hong Kong, a host of factors could influence the shape of migration to the UK in the future – and in turn affect attitudes to immigration among the public.

In her first blog for British Future, Heather Rolfe, our recently appointed Director of Research and Relationships, looks at what might change on immigration in the future.

British Future will be tracking public attitudes to immigration over the next two years, through an exciting new partnership with Ipsos MORI, to measure any changes.

We will also be co-hosting a major conference on immigration later this month – look out for further details next week or get in touch for more details.

Race and prejudice

We also remain active in debates about race, equality and prejudice in the UK, following the publication of the report of the Commission of Race and Ethnic Disparities. British Future Director Sunder Katwala debated CRED Chair Tony Sewell at the Policy Exchange event, ‘The Sewell report: next steps,’ alongside Sonia Sodha of the Observer, author Ian Leslie and epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali. You can read our report of the event and watch it again on video here.

British Future will be hosting two events, asking public voices with different views and perspectives to debate what needs to change on policy with regard to race – exploring the specific challenges of promoting a more inclusive educational curriculum and building trust in policing. Further details to be announced soon – as you’re on our mailing list you will receive an invitation to the events, or check our website for more details.

Professional football boycotted social media last weekend in protest at platforms’ failures to take robust action to tackle online racism. Sunder wrote in the New Statesman about his own experiences with racist trolls, and also asked Twitter directly just how racist people are allowed to be on its platform – with some shocking results.

Look out, too, for further research on race and English identity that we’ll be publishing next month ahead of England’s participation in the Euro 2021 football championship.

Upcoming events

On Wednesday 12 May (2-3pm), the APPG on Social Integration and APPG on Migration are hosting a joint event, Overcoming Barriers to Britishness: how can citizenship reform help build a better integrated Britain?with Alberto Costa MP, who chaired our independent inquiry into citizenship policy. Jill Rutter will also be speaking, in her capacity as a British Future Associate Fellow.

On 18 May Sunder is speaking on a Foreign Policy Centre/ Aston University panel discussing Can the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games help UK’s post-Brexit sport diplomacy get out of the starting blocks? The discussion will explore how the 2022 Games in Birmingham offers an opportunity to project an open and diverse vision of the UK.

Next month (14 June) Sunder is speaking at an event hosted by IPPR to launch Jon Yates’ new book ‘Fractured: Why Our Societies are Coming Apart and How We Put Them Back Together Again’. See the IPPR website closer to the event for details and registration.

We’re also currently planning British Future’s programme of Party Conference events for the autumn. If you’d be interested in sponsoring or partnering with us at party conference, please contact Events and engagement manager Lucy Buckerfield at lucy@britishfuture.org.

And as ever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss any other aspects of our work.

Best wishes

Steve Ballinger

Director of Communications, British Future



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