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The leader of the right-wing Reform UK party, Richard Tice, has ignited a heated debate over immigration, drawing criticism from UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea.

Growing Tensions Over Immigration Views: Tice faced off with McAnea on BBC 1’s ‘Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg’ after recent official figures revealed a net migration of 672,000 in the year to June. Tice argued that such high levels of immigration were “changing the nature of our country,” both financially and culturally.

Reform UK’s Concerns on Cultural Impact: Expressing his apprehension about the cultural impact, Tice stated that the influx of people was altering the essence of the UK. He emphasized the need for a unifying British culture based on heritage, history, and Christian values.

Union Boss Criticizes Tice’s Cultural War Assertion: McAnea, however, rebuffed Tice’s cultural concerns, deeming them an “appalling way to turn things into a culture war.” She emphasized the diversity of the UK, drawing on her own family history as the grandchild of migrants from Ireland.

Defining Britishness and Rejecting Mass Immigration: Tice defended his stance, clarifying that he welcomes sensible levels of immigration but opposes mass immigration. He expressed concerns about people living in cultural silos, highlighting the importance of a unified British identity.

Clash over Historical Comparisons: In response to McAnea’s accusation of “harking back to the 1940s or 1950s,” Tice dismissed it as “absolute nonsense.” He stood firm on his belief that preserving a cohesive British culture was vital for the country’s well-being.

The clash between Tice and McAnea underscores the deep-rooted divisions surrounding immigration in the UK. As debates continue, the question of how to balance cultural preservation with the benefits of immigration remains a complex and contentious issue.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The huffington post

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