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What is british citizenship and why does it matter?

In its strictest sense, citizenship is a legal status that means a person has a right to live in a state and that state cannot refuse them entry or deport them. This legal status may be conferred at birth, or, in some states, obtained through ‘naturalisation’. In wealthy liberal democratic states citizenship also brings with it rights to vote, rights to welfare, education or health care etc. In this formal sense, citizenship acquisition for oneself or one’s children is seen as principally related to migrants. However, it is important to recognise that citizenship isn’t only about migrants, but is...
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How does EU membership determine who may live and work in the UK?

To understand how EU membership shapes UK migration policy, one must distinguish between two distinct areas of EU law and policy. This policy primer examines EU citizenship and free movement of persons as part of the common market. Another policy primer examines how the UK participates selectively in the Common European Asylum System and EU Immigration Law as regards immigration of so-called ‘Third Country Nationals’ (TCNs), that is, those who do not hold the nationality of the Member States. At the core of the EU project remains a common market, which involves reciprocal...
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Integration policy in the UK

There is no national policy framework on integration. There are integration policies relating to one category of migrant refugees, and to those applying for settlement and UK citizenship (see the policy primer on ‘Citizenship: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?’). There are policies that have included migrants within their remit: on discrimination, for instance, and on community cohesion. There is also an important area of service provision, English language tuition, and services such as health and education where some targeted provision has been made to meet migrants’ particular needs. As a result,...
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Freephone numbers will now be free

This summer, the communications regulator Ofcom is introducing a new initiative called UK Calling. It’s the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade and is designed to make it easier for everyone to understand how much it costs to call 08, 09 and 118 numbers (used for some businesses, government services, phone-ins, competitions and prize draws, also known as ‘service numbers’). All calls to Freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free from mobile phones, just as they are from landlines. They will still be free with your talk plan. Calls to service...
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What is the aim of citizenship policy?

Is citizenship an end point, a reward for being ‘integrated’, in effect a personal benefit that enables an individual to claim a variety of rights? Or is it part of a process, a social good that facilitates cohesion? Is citizenship an end in itself, or is it a means to a cohesive society? The obvious answer is that it is both an individual reward and a social good, but they have very different policy implications. If citizenship is primarily a reward that gives access to resources its restriction is part of what gives it value, while if it is primarily a social good,...
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What is the relationship between citizenship, immigration, and equality?

The UK has long been identified as a country of ‘civic’ rather than ‘ethnic’ nationalism, where membership of the nation is defined as political rather than ethnic. The reasons for this have been traced back to the development of the state, and also the British Empire which ruled territories and people as British subjects (Shulman 2002). However, not all subjects of the British Empire were equal to one another. MacDonald has cogently argued that ‘the Aliens Act 1905 was not merely born out of an enormous anti-Jewish agitation. It also came in the...
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Alcohol and young people

You can be stopped, fined or arrested by police if you’re under 18 and drinking alcohol in public. If you’re under 18, it is against the law: for someone to sell you alcohol to buy or try to buy alcohol for an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for you to drink alcohol in licensed premises (eg a pub or restaurant) If you’re 16 or 17 and accompanied by an adult, you can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal. If you’re 16 or under, you may be able to go to a pub (or premises primarily...
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