Lord Carey: Immigrants should understand Britain’s Christian values

They should understand the country’s culture, English language, history 19th January 2010: Immigrants in the UK should understand the country’s Christian heritage, Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said.

Lord Carey has joined the group of MPs and peers who’ve warned that the country’s population should not be allowed to go beyond 70 million.

On 6th January, the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration published a ground-breaking Declaration on Immigration, calling on the major parties to make manifesto commitments to take action to prevent the UK population reaching 70 million in under 20 years, as is officially projected.

The Declaration was signed by 20 members of both Houses of Parliament, former Speaker, Baroness Boothroyd and Lord Carey.

The Co-Chairmen of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, Frank Field MP and Nicholas Soames MP, said: “Poll after poll shows the public to be deeply concerned about immigration and its impact on our population. Yet, as we enter the General Election campaign, neither party has promised the British people that they will prevent our population hitting 70 million. It is time the parties turned their rhetoric into reality by making manifesto commitments to prevent our population reaching 70 million by 2029.”

Lord Carey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "We are not calling for a ban or anything like that because we value people from abroad."

"What I think I’m concerned about is not saying we must put a limit on people who are non-Christian populations. That’s not the point. We welcome everybody and that’s always been the generous spirit of the United Kingdom."

Lord Carey said immigrants must have understanding of UK’s culture, including parliamentary democracy "which is built upon Christian heritage", "our commitment to the English language" and an understanding of the country’s history.

While warning against giving preference to any particular group, Lord Carey said the points-based immigration could take these cultural aspects into consideration.

He said: "If there’s going to be an implementation of that points system, it must focus much more on values rather than religions…

"If there are competing groups wanting to come in, some groups which may have a greater understanding, an espousal to that, may be given preference under a points system, but that’s not what I’m arguing and certainly not what the cross-party group is arguing."

Lord Carey told BBC Radio 5 live that immigration was an issue that mattered to "ordinary working-class people". He said immigration angers many people and could lead to violence. It is important to tackle "that kind of resentment which could build and is building up already," he said.

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