People planning to visit the UK will have to show that they “respect British values” under new plans proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May.
The Financial Times reports that the new guidance will be introduced on applications for work, student and business visas as part of the Conservative Party’s efforts to counter extremism.
The FT cites an internal Conservative Party report, commissioned by Ms May, which states: “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 document is reportedly part of the work of a task force set up by the government to look into ways of battling extremism in the wake of the Lee Rigby murder in southeast London in 2013.
Whilst the plans are still in a draft phase, the Conservatives’ coalition partners have already branded them “preposterous”.
A Liberal Democrat official told the FT: “The Tories talk a good game about the global race and then come forward with preposterous ideas like this, which is completely at odds with the Britain we want, that’s tolerant and open for business and trade and investment”.
The idea of so-called ‘British Values’ have been a point of contention since the phrase was first coined late last year after the government introduced new guidance for schools demanding they promote values such as “respect” and “tolerance”.
However, community leaders have routinely attacked the government’s plans, insisting that all communities share these values and calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to instead focus on protecting Britain from extremists of all hues.