Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit has suggested an update to his infamous “cricket test” for immigrants, proposing that new arrivals should be asked which side their family fought for in the Second World War.
Speaking on BBC2’s Newsnight after David Cameron’s long-awaited speech on immigration, Lord Tebbit said:
Well one test I would use is to ask them on which side their fathers or grandfathers or whatever fought in the Second World War. And so you'll find that the Poles and the Czechs and the Slovaks were all on the right side. And so that's a pretty good test isn’t it?
Perhaps we'll even manage to teach them to play cricket over the years.
Lord Tebbit’s idea would, conversely, probably lead to heightened levels of immigration, relaxing rules for people from a host of countries who fought for the Allies, not least the US and the countries that make up the former USSR, but also Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa and countries that made up the former Yugoslavia.
Also, it’s unclear at this stage whether Lord Tebbit is seriously proposing banning Germans, Italians and Romanians among others from settling in the UK.
In 1990, when an MP, the former Tory chairman told the Los Angeles Times that British Asian families should be asked whether they supported the England cricket team or the team from their country of origin to determine who they were “loyal” to.
In the prime minister’s speech yesterday, he ruled out caps on immigration from the EU but said new arrivals would have to wait four years for certain benefits, and that they would be removed from the UK if they did not have a job after six months. Any changes will need the backing of the other 27 heads of government in the EU.
Meanwhile, Czech state secretary for European affairs Tomas Prouza tweeted in response to Mr Cameron’s speech:
More: [What the people of Britain really think about the EU, in seven graphs]1