Immigration into the UK is a hotly debated and electorally salient topic. In popular and political discourse immigrants are perceived as a threat not only to labour market or housing prospects of those settled for longer, but also to cultural continuity. Immigrants are frequently represented in popular politics and media as being additional or extraneous to the population rather than core to its make-up. This contrasts with some other countries where immigration is regarded as part of the national story even if immigration controls are nonetheless relatively stringent.
The UK has also been characterised throughout its history as a country of multiple populations: more distantly Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Jutes, Norse, Normans, French, Dutch and those fleeing religious persecution in Europe; more recently, those from other European countries, those who arrived through the extensive trading networks of the British Isles, and those with colonial links with the UK. The largest
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