HOME AFFAIRS – LANGUAGE TEST FOR IMMIGRANTS – 14 March 2013

Dr Julian Lewis: At the risk of diverting the debate for just a fraction longer, I worry a bit about this language test. I come from a third-generation immigrant family, and my grandfather to the end of his life spoke English haltingly and with a thick foreign accent. What mattered was that he was able to undertake a productive trade, and that his children and grandchildren were not cosseted by being taught in the language of the country they had left, but were properly educated in the language of the country they had joined. To have too stringent a language test is to look at the problem the wrong way round.

[The Minister for Immigration (Mr Mark Harper): I was listening very carefully to what my hon. Friend said, and I will reflect on it. I thank him for making that point.]