Unfair British citizenship test to be rewritten - test yourself with questions

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Unfair British citizenship test to be rewritten - test yourself with questions
Unfair British citizenship test to be rewritten - test yourself with questions

The Life in the UK test for migrants to become British citizens is to be rewritten - after accusations the questions have too little to do with life in the UK today.

The move follows a damning report by the Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee saying even people born and bred in Britain would struggle to pass the test.

Now Home Office minister Simon Murray is promising a review of the test by June.

Peers slammed questions on early Scottish poetry and 18th Century furniture design along with what to do after spilling beer over someone in a pub and where the founder of Britain’s first curry house eloped with his wife.*

They branded the £50 test, plus £12.99 handbook to pass it, trivial and outdated and containing offensive historical content on colonialism.

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And they complained that attempts at humour fell flat by putting the right to free speech and a fair trial on the same footing as “long lunch breaks on Fridays” and “free groceries for everyone”.

Committee chair, the Lib Dem peer Sally Hamwee, said: “The UK today is about more than stereotypes such as roast beef and pantomimes.

“The content of the history chapter is so insensitive as to be offensive. It urgently needs replacing.”

Unfair British citizenship test to be rewritten - test yourself with questionsLib Dem peer Sally Hamwee said the UK is about more than roast beef and pantomimes (Hull Daily Mail / Simon Kench)

Birkbeck University history professor Frank Trentmann added: “At a time of fake news a falsified account of history will do more damage than good”.

Migrants must answer three quarters of the 24 questions set to get the permanent right to live in the UK while EU citizens already here must take it if they want a British passport.

Andreea Dumitrache of the 3million organisation championing the rights of EU citizens told the Sunday Mirror: “The Life in the UK test is not fit for purpose. It makes a mockery of British values and culture.”

Last month the High Court ruled the post-Brexit settlement scheme for EU citizens was unlawful because it put unfair hurdles in the way of Europeans seeking to remain permanently.

Critics say citizenship exams in Germany and the US work better while Australia and Belgium do not test for a knowledge of history.

Campaigners want the rewritten test to focus on the UK’s democratic system, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, national and local government, and knowing the law.

At present the handbook does not contain information on taxation, calling emergency services, or how to obtain a national insurance number and driving licence.

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A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Life in the UK test is important for anyone applying to settle permanently in the UK to ensure they have an understanding of the democratic principles underlying British society and aspects of our culture and traditions.

“We are planning to set out the process for reviewing the Life in the UK handbook in the first half of this year.”

* Sake Dean Mahomed opened the UK’s first curry house in London in 1810. He eloped in Ireland. If you spill someone’s drink, apologise.

Could you pass the Life in the UK test?

You’ll need eight correct answers.

1) Which word comes from Norman French - a) cow b) apple c) beauty or d) summer?

2) True or false? Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine Parr was his second wife Anne Boleyn’s cousin.

3) When was Concorde retired? a) 1976 b) 1999 c) 2000 or d) 2003?

4) When was the Giant’s Causeway formed? a) 50 million years ago. b) 40 million years ago c) 20 million years ago d) 15 million years ago.

5) When did motor racing start in the UK? a) 1889 b) 1901 c) 1902 d) 1922

6) Where did medieval glass manufacturers come from? a) Germany b) Italy c) Holland d) France

7) What was inscribed on the first Iron Age coins? a) Celtic symbols b) Iron Age kings c) animals d) plants

8) What was the name of the first cloned mammal? a) Molly b) Dolly c) Colin d) Alice

9) What percentage of the British population is located in England? a) 84% b) 79% c) 60% d) 58%

10) What should dogs wear in public places? a) a collar with address of owner b) a collar with name of dog c) a tracking device d) clothes to keep warm

ANSWERS (No cheating!)

1:c, 2:False, 3:d, 4:a, 5:c, 6:b, 7:b, 8:d, 9:a, 10:a

Nigel Nelson

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