Communities Secretary Sajid Javid faces accusations of "top-down guesswork" over his plan to make public office holders take an oath of 'British values'.
Immigration expert Professor Thom Brooks issued the warning on Monday (19 December) after the top Conservative suggested civil servants, elected officials and councils workers should "lead by example" on integration.
Brooks, head of Durham University Law Schools, told IBTimes UK: "Javid says he does aim to create 'a government approved, one-size-fits-all identity', so why is the public not involved in setting out what these values are?
"This does look like top-down guesswork for little effect. Unless the government believes that some public office holders are extremist, it's unclear what this oath will change."
The Labour-supporting academic added: "And if it is not good enough that migrants like me must wait to make such a pledge only when becoming British citizens, why does Javid not think it is a good idea for all British citizens to say it too? Sounds to me like either he has two classes of citizens in mind or he's confused."
Javid's proposal came days after the publication of Dame Louise Casey's report into social cohesion in the UK.
The review, commissioned by former prime minister David Cameron and then Home Secretary Theresa May in July 2015, recommended that new immigrants to the UK should take an oath of British values in a bid to promote integration.
Javid, writing in The Sunday Times, said: "If we are going to challenge such attitudes, civic and political leaders have to lead by example.
"We can't expect new arrivals to embrace British values if those of us who are already here don't do so ourselves, and such an oath would go a long way to making that happen."
Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrats shadow home secretary, was also critical of Javid's proposal, branding the plan "superficial and divisive".
"We should be talking about the universal values that unite us, not using nationalistic terms that exclude people," he said.
"The government must focus on integrating those small pockets of people living in segregated communities.
"Instead they are creating hostility towards all minority communities, the vast majority of whom want to be an integrated part of the UK."