§ Mr. Grimond
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will propose amending the British Nationality Act to ensure that when the Act comes into operation the Falkland Islanders remain full British citizens.
§ Mr. Raison
It is estimated that almost all the Falkland Islanders are citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. The majority also have the right of abode and will become British citizens on commencement of the British Nationality Act 1981. No Falkland Islander, whether he has the right of abode or not, will have any difficulty over admission to this country.
My right hon. Friend has no plans for amending legislation but will keep the matter under review.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give an assurance that any resident of the Falkland Islands who was either born in the United Kingdom or whose parents were born in the United Kingdom will be allowed to emigrate and settle in the United Kingdom if they so desire.
§ Mr. Raison
Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies by birth in this country or by descent from a parent born here are exempt from immigration control, have the right of abode, and are free to enter and to settle in the United Kingdom if they wish.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the residents of the Falkland Islands are classified as British dependent territories citizens under the British Nationality Act 1981; if British dependent territories citizens may settle and seek employment without delay or screening in the United Kingdom under the immigration rules; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
Under the British Nationality Act 1981 all citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies connected with the Falkland Islands will become British dependent territories citizens and approximately 1,400 will also become British citizens. When the Act comes into operation, which I expect to be on 1 January 1983,422W admission to the United Kingdom of citizens of the British dependent territories will be subject to the same requirements of the immigration rules as presently apply to non-patrial citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. However, I have made it clear that in the present circumstances no Falkland Islander, whether he has the right of abode or not, will have any difficulty over admission to this country; Falkland Islanders will be admitted for settlement and there will thus be no restriction on their taking employment.