Queen’s speech referring to immigration and borders bill

The government’s legislative plan was guided by the 18 bills listed in May’s draft Queen’s speech 03 December 2008. In a seven-minute statement, at the State Opening of Parliament, Her Majesty outlined 14 government bills designed to show the government was "committed to helping families and businesses through difficult times".

The Queen said: "A bill will be brought forward to strengthen border controls, by bringing tougether customs and immigration powers. The bill will also ensure that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay. My goverment is comitted to ensure that everyone has a fair chance in life."

"My government will bring forward a bill to promote equality, to fight discrimination," resumed Her Majesty.

The borders, immigration and citizenship bill is due to end the automatic right to stay in Britain after five years residence and replace with a new system of "earned citizenship".

All new migrants are to be required to demonstrate good English ability and a knowledge of life in the UK before becoming citizens. Those who work in the UK legally, pay taxes, get involved in their communities and do not acquire a criminal record will be able to be become citizens within six years of arrival.

Those do not do any voluntary work will only qualify after eight years and those who become unemployed will be asked to leave the country. Those who come to Britain because of family links will also be required to leave if their relationships cease to exist.

The bill will also deny full access to benefits, including social housing, to those who have completed a new period of probationary citizenship of between one and five years.

It will also contain powers to set up a new levy on all new migrants to finance a new fund to help local services deal with the short-term pressures of rapid population change triggered by migration.

Yesterday, the government launched the “Fair Rules for Strong Communities” – the new strategy outlining a wide range of policy initiatives designed to support strong communities.

Link to the full video of Queen’s speech 2008

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