This report, published by British Future, sets out UK public opinion on migration, and assesses both current and prospective immigration policies following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

The surveys conducted in this report show that the general public in the UK remains in support of high-skilled migration, but fewer than four in ten Britons are happy with the number of low skilled workers emigrating to the UK. The recommendations from the report, unsurprisingly, suggest that Brexit will have a major effect on future migration to the UK, but also that the Government must consider realistic immigration policies to regain the trust of the public.

Summary:

  • Only 12% of people would like to see a reduction in the numbers of highly skilled workers migrating to Britain; nearly four times as many (46%) would like to see more of it, with 42% saying that it should stay the same.
  • Among people who voted Leave in the referendum these numbers remain broadly the same: 45% would like to see an increase, 40% say that the numbers should stay as they are and just 15% would like to see them reduced.
  • Only a fifth of people (22%) would like the number of international students coming to study at Britain’s universities to be reduced, less than the 24% who would be happy for them to increase. The majority (54%, including 50% of Leave voters) would rather the numbers stayed the same. Students made up over a quarter of immigration flows to the UK last year.
  • Most people (52%) would be happy for the number of people joining immediate family in the UK to remain the same. 13% think it should be increased while 35% would prefer it reduced.
  • People are less positive about low-skilled workers moving to the UK, however: while four in ten (38%) would be happy for numbers to stay the same (31%) or increase (7%), six in ten (62%) would prefer the numbers to be reduced.

To read more publications from British Future, visit their website