Celebrate what migrants brought to Britain

From: Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, CEO of QED-UK, Vicar Lane, Bradford.

IT’S important not to incite negativity in respect to the increase of migrants over the last decade. Although a huge percentage rise, just nine per cent of residents in Yorkshire and Humber are born outside the UK. It’s still a small minority.

Some 94 per cent of residents in the region speak English; Pakistan migrants have to be married to a British national earning £18,600 a year, and pass an English language test to enter the country, and second or third-generation families are distinctly British. BBC3’s Bollywood Carmen was a recent celebration of British Asian identity, and the positive, vibrant life different cultures bring.

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Curry is the UK’s most popular national dish. Tea was originally Indian and Chinese, but is now quintessentially British. Since the Empire, Britain has been enriched by assimilating world cultures. British identity has always evolved as an island nation since the Viking invasion.

Many young Brits emigrate to find better lives and jobs in Australia.

We live in a world where people move, explore new lives and dreams.

When you drill down into the research, it shows a much 
more complex picture of immigration, with non UK-born residents including the 
children of British Forces personnel, Germans 
and Irish.

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We should celebrate migration and how it’s made Britain – from the Romans in 250AD to Africans brought over in the 18th century slave trade, to the Jews during World War Two and Pakistanis in the 50s.

Greece and the rise of the 
New Dawn is a warning of how fascism can flare in times of austerity, when fears around migration are inflamed.