James Berry

Kingston and Surbiton

Conservative

AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018. Are you going to lobby the AQA to reverse their decision? If yes, are there any other actions which you would undertake in order to preserve the Polish A-level?

Specifically on the issue of Polish A-levels, I am pleased to confirm that the Education Secretary the Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, has guaranteed the future of GCSEs and A levels in Polish. She has written to the exam boards calling on them to reverse their decision to cancel them, a decision that I hope you will welcome.

 

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War and the Polish army contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Would you therefore challenge some of the British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

Regarding how Polish migrants are perceived by the media, I believe that free speech underpin our democracy and the Government has always been clear it is vitally important to uphold this key principle. For this reason, the Government does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law. I am pleased that the case is being put in the media that those who come here to work and to pay taxes should be welcomed.

 

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

From the outset, let me say that I recognise that Polish people have made a great contribution to this country from the Polish pilots who helped save the UK during the Battle of Britain, to those who contribute so much to our country today and indeed in Kingston. The Government is committed to building on British-Polish relations for the benefit of both countries going forward.From the outset, let me say that I recognise that Polish people have made a great contribution to this country from the Polish pilots who helped save the UK during the Battle of Britain, to those who contribute so much to our country today and indeed in Kingston. The Government is committed to building on British-Polish relations for the benefit of both countries going forward.

I hope this reassured you that the UK Government values our longstanding friendship with Poland, as do I.

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

Turning to the issue of migration and the EU, the Government will be renegotiating the UK’s position in Europe before holding an in-out referendum by 2017 There are a number of issues so be ironed out as part of that process, including around immigration, but I can assure you Ministers are committed to making sure the system is fair for those who want to come here to work.

Would you consider joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and finding out about its activities and initiatives?

Finally, regarding the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Poland. In the last Parliament shere were over 600 APPGs that MPs could join. Personally, I only sign up to APPGs if I have the – time to be properly involved in their activities, rather than signing up for every group available for the sake of appearances. I am, however, always happy to discuss Polish issues with you.


Questions were sent out after the elections.