Guilford man writes about becoming a British citizen


GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Thom Brooks was raised in Guilford.

He went abroad to the United Kingdom as a student. First he went to Ireland and then to England and then he decided he would stay there.

He became a British citizen in 2011. He describes in his book called, “Becoming British” what life is like as an immigrant.

He now heads the Law School at the prestigious Durham University. He also teaches government and has become politically active in Britain’s Labour Party. The talk of his new homeland is all about Brexit and a second vote that will be coming on that in June.

“In the United Kingdom, what typically happens is the political parties contest an election and they do it on the basis of manifestos. They make a series of pledges in a document that spell out what they will do if they come into office and so everyone can see in a sense what the plane is. It’s not a unique thing. It’s something that they are required to do. In Brexit referendum, there wasn’t a manifesto and there were different campaigns arguing for each side. So there was a confusion in message. Both for why the country should stay in the European Union and why it should leave. Now that the country decided to leave, there is confusion about what people were promised and what is part of that deal,” he said.

“Immigration is the number one issue of public concern in the United Kingdom. A lot of people are concerned about the numbers coming in and what that means for the future of the country. There’s a common perception that anyone can come in and that there is no regulations and so on, yet as someone who went through it, the regulations are enormous. There’s over 2,000 pages of statutory regulations and that’s before you get to case law about some of the rules, not all of the rules,” he said.

Brooks says he watches the world as a Brit and as an American and worries where all countries are headed in a very dangerous world.

For more information on Brooks’ book, you can click here.

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