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Theresa May plans “British values” test for visas

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Visitors coming for business meetings would have to demonstrate respect for “British values”

Can you make people realign their fundamental moral principles and beliefs to a set prescribed by government?

Theresa May thinks it’s worth a shot.

New plans drawn up by the home secretary include measures that would have any overseas visitors, who are looking to work, study or even just attend business meetings, prove they respected “British values”.

The plans form part of the government’s strategy on countering extremism in the UK, according to the Financial Times.

A draft report seen by the paper says: “We want to make clear to those seeking to visit, work or study in the UK, and those granted protection, that they need to abide by and respect British values throughout their stay in this country.”

“We will make British values an integral part of applying for a visa.”

The Liberal Democrats have already branded the test a “ridiculous idea”.

We’re not sure what is going to go into May’s British values test, but the preeminent British historian David Starkey said last month that British values are “queuing, drunkenness, nostalgia, loving pets, self-loathing, wit and eccentricity”.  

But the crucial point is that anyone can learn to pass a test. It doesn’t prove they believe in any of the content.

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