Public thinks UK has done more than other European countries to accommodate refugees - but they’re wrong

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers. Pho

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Nearly half of the UK public think the government have done more than its fair share to accommodate refugees compared to other European countries.

A new YouGov poll found 46% of the public believe the UK has done more than enough, compared to its neighbouring countries, with 19% thinking it is has done about the right amount.

Just 20% appear to accurately agree with the suggesting it has not done as much as other European countries.

Figures from the European Asylum Support Office reveal that in 2019, the majority of asylum applications (22%) were lodged in Germany with the country taking in 165,615.

France accounted for 17% with 128,940 people taken in, and Spain took in 16% with 117,795 taken in.


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Greece took in 77,275 asylum seekers (10%), with the United Kingdom in fifth place taking in 44,835, considerably fewer than its neighbouring countries.

While the UK has taken in the most number of unaccompanied minors in this year, its intake of asylum seekers only accounted for 6.1% of the EU's applicants.

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It did take more than countries including Sweden (20,720), Belgium (17,170) and Austria (13,980) - but these countries have considerably smaller populations.

Most asylum applicants across the EU last year were Syrians (80 205; 11%), Afghans (60 700; 8.2%) and Venezuelans (45 645; 6.2%).

The latest YouGov polling also found almost half of Britons (49%) say they have little (22%) to no sympathy (27%) for the migrants who have been crossing the channel from France to England.

A majority of Leave (73%) and Tory voters (73%) also are said to have little sympathy for migrants.

That compares to a majority of Remain voters (67%) and Labour voters (73%) who do have sympathy.

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