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Poll Suggests Brits Want EU Citizens to Remain Despite Brexit Vote

More than 80% of people in the UK believe that EU citizens ought to be given the right to stay in the UK if they are working and contributing to the economy. This figure includes a whopping 77% of ‘leave’ voters.

The ‘British Future’ thinktank has called for an analysis of the immigration system which it has described as outdated and of lacking the backing and confidence of the British public.

‘British Future’ claims that its ICM poll confirms that most people fall into what has been dubbed the ‘anxious middle.’ These are people who see advantages and disadvantages to the current system. Advantages are mainly seen as the economic benefits through taxation, although many believe the burden placed on British infrastructure through unparalleled levels of immigration comes with consequences to the populace.

The poll indicates that most people want to see the implementation of an Australian style points system, whereby skilled workers and those able to contribute to the economy are welcomed.

  • 84% say EU citizens already living in the UK should be able to stay. This includes a majority of both Leave voters (77%) and Ukip supporters (78%);
  • Only 12% want to cut the number of highly skilled workers migrating to Britain; nearly half (46%) would like to see an increase, with 42% saying that it should stay the same;
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) want numbers of low-skilled workers reduced.

British Future argues that opening up a public debate about immigration now would bring about a new consensus on the divisive issue.

 “There are sure to be changes to immigration policy once we know what shape Brexit takes,” said Jill Rutter, director of strategy for British Future. “That will bring challenges but it also presents an opportunity – for a comprehensive review of a system that is widely believed to be failing and in which the public has lost all confidence. Rebuilding public trust, in an immigration system that is competent, effective and fair, must be part of this process. Engaging the public in the decisions we make, through a national conversation on immigration, would help to start rebuilding that trust.

“It will also cut through an overheated, polarised debate to reveal the moderate core of public opinion on immigration. Most people have more nuanced views than those found in our public discourse. Given the choice, voters would be content with much immigration staying the same and some of it increasing, if they had faith in the system and could see reductions in other areas.”

Importantly for the live in care sector, Only a quarter of people want fewer migrant care-workers, with 27% saying they would like more and 48% saying the number should stay the same.


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