‘Life in the United Kingdom – A Guide for New Residents’ is Crown Copyright and is reproduced with the permission of Office of Public Sector Information.
British society is founded on fundamental values and principles which all those living in the UK should respect and support. These values are reflected in the responsibilities, rights and privileges of being a British citizen or permanent resident of the UK. They are based on history and traditions and are protected by law, customs and expectations. There is no place in British society for extremism or intolerance.
The fundamental principles of British life include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Participation in community life.
As part of the citizenship ceremony, new citizens pledge to uphold these values. The pledge is:
‘I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.’
Flowing from the fundamental principles are responsibilities and freedoms which are shared by all those living in the UK and which we expect all residents to respect.
If you wish to be a permanent resident or citizen of the UK, you should:
- respect and obey the law
- respect the rights of others, including their right to their own opinions
- treat others with fairness
- look after yourself and your family
- look after the area in which you live and the environment.
In return, the UK offers:
- freedom of belief and religion
- freedom of speech
- freedom from unfair discrimination
- a right to a fair trial
- a right to join in the election of a government.