It was proposed by the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Communities that every public office holder in the UK would have to swear an oath of allegiance to British values. The Minister’s proposals came in response to a report on social cohesion by Dame Louise Casey which warned that some sections of society did not accept British values such as tolerance.
Whilst these are important issues and the SNP respects the work that has been carried out by Dame Louise Casey, it is our view that this proposal was a premature response to its outcome. This report deserves to be given proper consideration, and this response risks the exclusion of people who do not define their values as uniquely British.
Scotland has a long history of welcoming people of all nationalities and faith. We are committed to supporting their integration into our communities, not through the swearing of oaths, but by creating a country where everyone has an opportunity to flourish and where diversity is truly welcomed and celebrated.