More Brits now support immigration than at any time since the 1980s
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
More Britons support immigration now more than at any other time since the 1980s, a survey has found.
An analysis of several public opinion surveys on the issue has found that around 60% of people want a more relaxed immigration system.
The study, conducted by University of Exeter statistics lecturer Patrick English, charts British attitudes since the 1980s and showed that anti-immigration sentiments tailed off before the Brexit vote in 2016 and collapsed after it. It also documented a peak during the Blair years.
You may also want to watch:
Professor English wrote on the London School of Economics website: 'The Brexit vote came slap bang in the middle of the rapid decline in anti-immigrant sentiments from 2010 to 2017.'
- 1 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 2 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
- 3 Former Brexit Party MEP dies in diving accident in the Bahamas
- 4 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
- 5 Progressive alliance could see Labour win 351 seats at next election, new analysis reveals
- 6 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 7 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 8 Jacob Rees-Mogg says it's 'all the EU's fault' musicians can't tour Europe
- 9 Priti Patel fails to appear in Commons to answer questions on missing police records
- 10 The bigot we should have called out on day one
He added: 'After the success of the British National Party (BNP) and the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), David Cameron's 2011 declaration of the 'failure of multiculturalism' and his 'war' on its proponents and policies, and a very public 'battle' between those in favour of immigration and those against it in mainstream politics, it appears that pro-immigrant sentiments grew in response.'
He called this the 'thermostatic relationship' which Britons have with their political environment - a relationship that dictates the more someone is pushed in one direction, the more likely they are to resist and oppose the status quo.
He said this happened during the New Labours years when Tony Blair pursued certain liberal and multicultural policies. The public felt this was 'too much', English said, and vented their frustrations through parties like the BNP and UKIP, which led to their rise.
Viewing public opinion this way, English argues, shows that Britons are not as radical as populist parties try to suggest.
The data for the study came from the British Election Study, the British Social Attitudes survey, the European Social Survey, European Values Study, and World Values Study.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.