Britain will NOT ban the burka – Theresa May confirms after call for outlaw from Merkel

Britain will NOT ban the burka – Theresa May confirms after call for outlaw from Merkel

Number 10 made clear its stance after Germany’s Angela Merkel called for them to be outlawed in schools, courts, state buildings and “wherever legally possible.”

The German Chancellor also promised a tougher stance on immigration as she laid out her case to be voted back into office for a fourth term.

She faces a strong challenge in next year’s general election from the right-wing, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party.

AfD is making a bid to harness German voters’ unhappiness at Merkel for opening the country’s borders to some 900,000 refugees and migrants from the Middle East and beyond last year.

The Chancellor was re-elected as leader of her Christian Democratic Union party by nearly 90 per cent of some 1,000 delegates at its congress.

They cheered her hardline statements on burkas and immigration.

German constitutional law would probably stop the party seeking a complete ban on the public wearing of full face veils.

But Mrs Merkel said she would like the wearing of the full veil banned “wherever it is legally possible.”

In German culture it was not appropriate for women to completely cover their faces and she stressed that newcomers must be expected to integrate in society.

In practice very few women in Germany wear them.

But her backing of Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere’s earlier proposals for a ban in public buildings are a signal of her willingness to respond to voters unease about mass immigration and what her enemies call the “Islamisation” of society.

Mrs Merkel told the conference – in a speech that lasted an hour and a quarter and was followed by 11 minutes of applause: “Here we say ‘show your face’. 

“So full veiling is not appropriate here. It should be prohibited wherever legally possible.”

The party rejected such a ban when it considered the idea a year ago.

France has banned the wearing of burkas in public places since 2010.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “That is an issue for Angela Merkel.

“It is not something that’s being considered in this country.”

Published at Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:05:00 +0000