Uk immigration/nationality and race relation legislation: the ”liberal” compromise



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UK immigration/nationality and race relation legislation:

the ”liberal” compromise




1948 British Nationality Act


Commonwealth citizens allowed freely to enter and settle in Britain

1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act


removed rights of the 48 Act for most new (black) Commonwealth citizens. Instead. A limited number of employment vouchers were issued

1965 Race Relations Act

i) made illegal discrimination in certain places, but means of enforcement were very weak,

ii) made incitement to racial hatred illegal

1968 Commonwealth Immigrants Act


restricted entry to East African Asians who held UK passports issued by the British government

1968 Race Relations Act

Enlarged the 65 Act (discrimination made illegal in employment & housing, enforcement still weak, relying on the new Community relations Council to take up individual complaints


1971 Immigration Act


made a distinction between patrials (born in Britain or with (great)parents born in Britain) who kept full citizenship rights; and non-patrials (mainly black, new Commonwealth) who were required to obtain work permits prior to entry.

1976 Race Relations Act

Extended the anti-discrimination laws to unintended as well as intended discrimination



1981 British nationality Act




1988 Immigration Act

1976 Race Relations Act (Amendment)

Introduced positive duty



Source: O´Donnell (1994) pp.91-92 (shortened)
The antidiscriminatory legislation was implemented as a trade off to compensate for increasingly tight immigration policy. Assimilation possible only if the numbers are low…
15.3.00


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