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National Identity

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effect of devolving further powers to local communities on attitudes towards British citizenship and national identity; (198384)

(2) when his Department plans to take forward the proposals in the report of Lord Goldsmith's Citizenship Review;

(3) what consideration he has given to the report of the recommendation in Lord Goldsmith's Citizenship Review on a national day focused on ideas about shared citizenship.

A robust sense of citizenship and national identity is reinforced by a democracy which is healthy and engages citizens at all levels. The Government believe that devolving power to Parliament, to citizens and to local communities, as included in the Governance of Britain Green Paper and the 2006 Local Government White Paper, will help revitalise our democracy.

The Government welcome Lord Goldsmith's Review of Citizenship and its contribution to the current debate about legal and social rights and responsibilities.

We have already announced many measures as part of the earned citizenship document which are consonant with Lord Goldsmith's proposals on acquiring citizenship and we are also interested in his thoughts on supporting and encouraging volunteering, which we will study closely.