“The 1981British Nationality Act also ceased to recognise Commonwealth citizens as British subjects.” But basically the situation now is if you are European you are treated like a de facto British citizen, but if you are commonwealth you are not.
I think the situation with Britain in regards to the Commonwealth countries is deplorable.
I am a Canadian. In Canada the British Queen is apparently our head of state. Her face is on all our money and in all our civic buildings. My mom had to sing God Save the Queen before school every day when she was a kid in the 1960s. Members of my family fought in the RAF and drove medical vehicles in WWII for the British army. Need I remind anyone, that traditionally “colonial” troops were the first ones put in front of the enemy by the British army, resulting in massive losses of Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders in WWI and WWII.
So let’s see, my Canadian born grandfather would be considered British enough to die for Britain fighting the Nazis, but his grand-daughter isn’t even allowed to stay in this country beyond two years to teach British children in inner-city London. Meanwhile, the grandchildren of Nazis who tried to kill British subjects are freely allowed to settle here.
That makes so much sense.
It is ridiculous that Britain treats subjects of the commonwealth as foreigners when we all share the same language and have political systems based directly on the British system and still retain the Queen as our head of state. Years ago Commonwealth citizens were allowed to travel and settle freely within the other countries that were members of the British Commonwealth.
Now that Britain is in the E.U. though, immigrants from E.U. countries are prioritized. This seems unfair to me. Citizens from Australia, Canada and New Zealand that I’ve met while working in the UK speak English as a native language, so they are better placed to integrate well in UK jobs and not be drains on the welfare system. I know some British people are afraid that if they let all the people from the Commonwealth in again, England would be overrun with unskilled workers with poor English skills.
The simple way to combat this is to institute spoken and written English tests for Commonwealth subjects and to see if their skills are ones that are required in England or not.
Immigrants from poor Commonwealth English speaking countries would at least be better placed than immigrants from poor European countries like Poland, because knowing the language would make it easier for them to get work.
The current points based system that is imposed on immigrants from the Commonwealth takes off 5 points for being over the age of 30 which I think is ridiculous. Most people I know are most productive in their working lives between 30 and 50 and now that people are living longer lives, this restriction should be changed.
Also, the current working holidaymaker/youth mobility scheme/Tier 5 visa scheme makes no differentiation between workers from Japan, the U.S. and workers from Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia. We are all only allowed to stay for two years. Even if we can get employment beyond that time, the current system makes it either expensive, prohibitive or impossible for employers to grant visa extensions. Youth mobility scheme workers are not allowed visa extensions no matter what the circumstances.