Citizenship has always seen as a major component of the national identity

Citizenship has always seen as a major component of the national identity. Paul Whitely describes citizenship as “a set of norms, values and practices which bind society together, makes democratic society unified, makes democratic government possible and helps individuals to solve collective action problems” . This can be interpreted from different perspectives. For instance, in terms of legislation, it has its allocation, it is associated with certain values, rights and responsibilities to be considered as British or have British Citizen. The series of such legislation has changed over time as well as the perceptions of Britishness as Ian shows:

The British Nationality Act 1948, for example, saw common citizenship extended to citizens of the UK and Commonwealth. However, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 defined such citizenship in terms of the place from which one’s passport is issued, while by the time of the Immigration Act 1971 it had been linked to clear ancestry. The British Nationality Act 1981 took this further. While all previous legislation held onto the category of Citizen of the UK and Commonwealth (CUKC) and to the notion of subjecthood, the 1981 Act abolished the former and largely abolished the latter. A new category, UK citizen, is established and specified a more standard form of citizenship. Essentially, a child born in the UK would be granted British citizenship if either its mother or its father is a British citizen or settled in the UK, and naturalization for residents without kinship linkages is made relatively easy(2).

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