Hugh Muir ( I love his column, prepare for repeated references this year) wrote a short, sharp blog on Britishness asking, “How long do you have to be in Britain before it’s yours?”
“I have to fill out a form that asks about my parents. Are they British nationals? If so, when did they become so? What’s the number on the certificate?
These are not unreasonable questions in themselves, but they reminded me with a jolt that the status of me and mine wasn’t always assured.”
On that note, a few articles or polls cite evidence that “even settled migrants” are antsy about immigration. Surely some of these people must be British citizens by now, but are still classed as outsiders, which I find interesting. Furthermore, the fact that some migrants are uncomfortable about immigration doesn’t give cover for some of the rhetoric that’s flying about at the moment (the equivalent of the black friend defence).
Reading Muir’s article, though, I was reminded that for so many, their status will always be under review – and pulling up the proverbial drawbridge behind you has no bearing on that.