Travelling bands of Celts were the first to invade Britain. They brought with them new methods of forging metal, making things from iron ploughs and horse shoes to delicate jewellery.
From 4th AD until the end of the 4th Century the Romans settled and integrated with local tribes. They brought with them their engineering and road construction skills, and built bridges, baths and heating systems.
The Germanic tribes of the Angles, Saxons, Frisians and Jutes colonised Southern England, establishing new settlements and cultivating the land.
The Vikings were superb boat builders. They introduced their heroic tales to Northern England and East Anglia, and possibly brought the game of chess
The Normans conquered Britain in 1066, and imposed a legal and administrative system much of which still exists today.
Medieval Britain benefited from the immigration of Jewish businessmen, scholars and doctors.
In the 16th century the Huguenots, fleeing from religious persecution in France, settled in London, Norwich and Canterbury. They brought their skills of silk weaving and silver-smithing.
In Victorian times the need to transport goods to and from the mills led to a rapid expansion of the transport system - work that was undertaken by labourers from Ireland.
Thousands of citizens from across the British Empire fought for Britain during the two world wars. There was a shortage of workers, and many who had fought for Britain came to live here.
Doctors, nurses, teachers, bus drivers, factory workers etc. came from countries across the empire to help re-build Britain.
Nowadays where there is a shortage of dentists, doctors, builders, hotel workers or cleaners, it is often people from Eastern Europe who come to fill the gap.
Throughout the ages people have come to Britain, fleeing from poverty or war.In many cases they have been desperate, and prepared to take enormous risks.
During the collapse of the British colonial empire independence received by mid-1970 almost all British colonies.Britain heads the Commonwealth, is a member of NATO, EU, Group of Eight, has nuclear weapons. Is one of the most developed countries.