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Immigrants 'should be expected to learn English' before coming to Britain

Immigrants should be able to speak English Credit: PA

Immigrants should be expected to learn English before coming to Britain - or be enrolled on compulsory language classes when they arrive, according to a parliamentary report.

MPs and peers also called on ministers to consider a radical overhaul which could see regions handed immigration powers in place of the current "one size fits all" system.

The report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on social integration follows a landmark review which last month warned the country is becoming more divided as it becomes more diverse.

That inquiry from Dame Louise Casey called for more English classes for isolated groups and suggested ministers should consider whether immigrants intending to settle in Britain should swear an "integration oath" on arrival.

Calls for 'integration oath' Credit: PA

In its report the APPG said that integration should begin upon arrival in the UK and described speaking English as "the key to full participation in our society and economy" and a "prerequisite for meaningful engagement with most British people".

The APPG believes that all immigrants should be expected to have either learned English before coming to the UK or be enrolled in compulsory Esol (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes upon arrival.

– All Party Parliamentary Group report